Tassie Connection Has Kline Climbing The Ranks

BRENT Kline found himself at the crossroads a number of years ago following a head on motorcycle accident in Victoria which cut short his AFL career.

Isaac Murphy

18 February 2020

Brent Kline found himself at the crossroads a number of years ago following a head on motorcycle accident which cut short his AFL career.

But unlike many other athletes, Kline had another passion, greyhounds, to fall back on. And since making the move from Victoria to his Queensland property at Karalee, Kline has gone from strength to strength, continuing to kick goals in his new profession.

“About ten years ago I was playing professional AFL football in Victoria and I got into a syndicate with a bunch of guys I was playing with and bought a dog,” Kline reflected.

“We bought it off David Crosswell in Tasmania and it was absolutely legless; his racing career was done so I took him as a pet.

“I knew absolutely nothing about greyhound training, but I used to take him on my three-kilometre training runs with me, with what I know now is not a good way to get the best out of a dog.

“Miraculously, he ended up getting back to the track and ran a couple of placings at The Meadows for me. That’s when I caught the bug.”

It hadn’t taken much for Kline to take a shine to his new hobby, employing a lot of lessons learned through footy into his greyhound training.

“When I got into full time training, I took a lot of my football experiences into what I did with my animals, training regiment, healthy diet, keeping them injury free, recovery – really treating them like an athlete,” he said.

“My first real breakthrough was with a dog called Benny The Kid which won a few races for me before he got a stopper bone injury. But I was well and truly hooked at this point.

“Being from Victoria I was lucky enough to learn from George Dailly, Darren Murray and Jason Thompson. I’d bounce things off them and always look to see what the good trainers were doing.”

With his football career over, Kline started a new chapter, moving to his Karalee property and working as a property accessor. But again, it didn’t take long for dogs to once again become a big part of his life.

“When I first moved to Queensland I only owned shares in a few dogs, but once we settled in I thought why not give it another crack? I love nothing more than knocking off work and coming home to race or work the dogs,” Kline said.

“I had a few dogs but the breakthrough came with a bitch I got off Tony Apap Isla’s Style who was a giveaway and ended up winning the Molly Campbell Silver Dollars. She raced in the Group 3 Futurity down in Melbourne against the likes of Fanta Bale, Up Hill Jill and Striker Light, which was a huge thrill to have her in that company.”

Coming from the inner sanctum of a footy club, Kline knew all about relationships and found himself entrenched as a trusted trainer in no time.

“When I got the phone call from Debbie Cannan and Ted Medhurst from Tasmania asking if I wanted to train a couple for them, I couldn’t say yes quick enough,” Kline said.

“The dogs they were sending me had gone through their grades in Tasmania, but still had plenty in the tank to come up here to Queensland and win some races.

“We targeted the Bundaberg Cup with Miss Greer last year and came away with the trophy, that really cemented our partnership.”

Cannan and Medhurst run one of the largest operations in Tasmania and when the kennels are full, Kline is more than happy to do the hard yards with the lesser types.

“They’re not all champions that come up, being a big kennel, I often get dogs like Recreational at the moment which is missing a front toe and struggling to get around the circle at Albion Park,” Kline said.

“I’m more than happy to take them on and try to iron out a few issues because you get rewarded with dogs like Miss Greer.”

Kline is Bundaberg Cup bound with another Tasmanian bitch called Shilo which has shown flashes of ability in her short time at her new home.

“Shilo is the latest of the arrivals; winning at Ipswich and Albion Park over the 520 metres,” Kline said.

“But I’m still just feeling her out looking for her pet distance, she’s raced over the shorts at 288 and the long at 600; I’m just trying to take my time with her,” Kline said.

“I don’t think she’ll break thirty seconds at Albion Park, but she’ll get very close and that will win you a lot of races there.

“I’ll definitely be taking Shilo along with Ricolino Girl to try to go back-to-back at the Bundaberg Cup.”