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Collingwood bullish on Karnezis' future

Patrick Karnezis of the Lions in action during the 2013 NAB Cup round 03 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Patrick Karnezis moved from the Lions in exchange for Jackson Paine
COLLINGWOOD is confident that recruit Patrick Karnezis will develop into a first-choice midfielder in the next two seasons.

The 21-year-old, who was a first round pick in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft, joined the Magpies from the Brisbane Lions on the final day of the trade period.

The deal was a straight swap of players, with young key forward Jackson Paine heading north.

"There was an element of homesickness with Pat, and with us being able to bring Patty in, we think that he's going to be nice and stable in terms of his family," Collingwood's national recruiting manager, Derek Hine, told CTV.

Karnezis played mostly as a half-forward during his time with TAC Cup club Oakleigh Chargers.

He filled a similar role during his first season at the Lions, before he was given the chance to move into the midfield.

At 191cm, Karnezis is the same height as Scott Pendlebury, and the Magpies hope he will provide their brilliant vice-captain with plenty of support in the years to come.

"He's a utility type who has played forward, midfield and back," Hine said.

"We would really like to bring him in and develop him through the midfield. That's the goal.

"Hopefully, we're going to be able to develop him into that 191cm utility that can really provide us with a little bit of height through there."

Along with Karnezis, Collingwood snared another midfielder, Taylor Adams from Greater Western Sydney, during the Gillette Player Exchange Period.

The deal that secured Adams was also a straight swap, with veteran defender Heath Shaw heading to the Giants. 

The Magpies' list changes, which also include the defection of another 2010 premiership player, Dale Thomas, to Carlton, mean the profile of the club's list has changed dramatically.

Hine revealed that the average number of games played by the young men on Collingwood's list has fallen from 88 to 69.

Meanwhile, the Pies have appointed Bill Davoren to the position of high performance manager.
 
He will replace former Magpie David Buttifant who left the position at the end of 2013 to re-unite with Mick Malthouse at Carlton. 
 
Davoren spent 2013 at St Kilda after four years with the Western Bulldogs working alongside Rodney Eade, who is now Collingwood's director of football.
 
Davoren was a former national performance director at Triathlon Australia, where he oversaw the preparation of a national team that excelled at the 2008 Olympics.
 
He has a background in altitude training and will make full use of the altitude training facility installed at Collingwood's Westpac Centre.