AL McKINNON will move from Dimboola to the Horsham Demons for the next Wimmera Football League season.
McKinnon, who played his 350th game for Dimboola this year, switches to the reigning premiers after more than two decades with Dimboola.
He played his maiden senior game for the club when he was 15 years old alongside his father Harvey. He was part of Dimboola’s 2013 Wimmera league premiership.
The 37-year-old coached Dimboola for the past two seasons with Justin Beugelaar taking over following the 2018 season.
McKinnon said he was looking forward to a fresh change and hoped to continue playing senior football.
“It’s an opportunity to kick along hopefully for another couple of years and re-inject a little bit more enthusiasm into my football,” he said.
“Playing at Dimboola for over 20 years has been a fair part of my life so I probably just needed a bit of a change. I’m hoping to play senior football and Horsham seemed to be a good fit.”
McKinnon said he was grateful for the opportunity Dimboola gave him, especially through the senior coaching role.
“Two years ago I was at a crossroads as to if I would keep playing, so coaching has spurred me along to keep playing footy,” he said.
“I’m grateful for everything Dimboola has done. This is just another phase of my life and I want to push the boundaries because I know that anything could happen.
“I want to do everything I can to be in a good enough shape to get through each season.”
At the twilight of his senior career, McKinnon said he was hoping to be a natural leader for the young Horsham team.
“It’s a young list and hopefully I can help guide some of their younger kids rather than going to a more senior list – the club has shown me a lot of respect,” he said.
McKinnon said he wasn’t too sure what to expect when he comes up against his former side next season.
“There will be respect on both sides, but it can go either way and it could always be a little bit hostile but that’s just footy and how it goes,” he said.
McKinnon thanked Dimboola and especially his father, Harvey, for the opportunity to represent the club.