APPRENTICE electrician Rhys Horton is the man to spark the Moorebank Magpies AFL team back into finals contention this season, says his coach Mark Coles.
Horton, 21, of Holsworthy, was graded in 2008, and been an integral team member.
In two of the past three seasons, Horton, has won the club's best and fairest award.
Magpies coach Mark Coles said Horton is one of the first players selected each game.
"Rhys is such a versatile player, when we select the team we name Rhys in whatever position we we need him," Coles said.
Horton, a midfielder, played juniors with Liverpool Eagles and Southwest Tigers.
At 18, he played in first grade. Coles said so advanced were Horton's skills and abilities he was elevated quickly from the under-18s.
"We just had to select him in first grade. He showed his talent and that he was ready when playing under-18s," Coles said.
In 2010 and 2011, Horton won the club's best and fairest award and last year was second, missing out on the major medal after injury sidelined him for half the season.
"I broke my left wrist in a training mishap at the start of last year and missed the first 10 games," Horton said.
"The wrist is fully healed now and I am looking forward to the new season.
"We've got some good players and I enjoy playing at the club because I have a lot of mates here."
Horton played in the Magpies' grand final triumph over Penrith in 2010.
Coach Mark Coles said Horton's game that day was "brilliant".
The Magpies' first grade team is playing in the Sydney AFL second division competition this season. The club's reserve grade team is in fourth division.
The Magpies' season opener is against Camden Cats at Harrington Park, on Saturday, April 6.