Capital investment: Wodonga Raiders to gamble on youth

Capital investment: Wodonga Raiders to gamble on youth

Wodonga Raiders are set to drop a bombshell and announce former Henty player Ben Klemke as co-coach for next season. While Klemke is yet to put pen to paper, the Queanbeyan forward has been offered the top job at Birallee Park alongside Ken Stevenson and could commit as early as this week. It would make the 22-year-old one of the youngest coaches in Ovens and Murray history.

Corowa-Rutherglen has also expressed interest in Klemke through Roo coach Adrian Pavese after the pair spent a season together at Queanbeyan. Albury and Jindera premiership forward Trent Castles, who now plays at Yackandandah, is also believed to be on the Raiders’ recruiting radar.

Klemke played junior football with Henty before joining the Murray Bushrangers in 2010. He knocked back approaches from several O and M clubs at the end of that season and returned to the Swampies where he played 19 matches and kicked 13 goals. Last season Klemke followed his cousin, Kade Klemke, to Queanbeyan and played in the Tigers’ upset grand final victory against the Sydney Swans reserves. He also earned selection in the NSW ACT under-21 side.

Klemke has played another nine matches with Queanbeyan this season, kicking six goals and featuring in the Tigers’ best twice. Former North Albury speedster Ben Fulford and Wahgunyah duo Nathan Kerlin and Ben King are teammates of Klemke at the Tigers. Stevenson couldn’t be contacted for comment yesterday.

Wodonga Raiders are bottom of the ladder after 12 rounds and need to defeat rivals Wod­onga in a fortnight to avoid the wooden spoon.

Article courtesy of the Border Mail

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