Coolamon have won the race for the signature of promising footballer Max Hillier.
The Hoppers beat a number of rival Riverina League clubs to secure the services of Hillier for next season.
Hillier spent last season at Ovens and Murray League club Wodonga Raiders after moving to the area from Newcastle.
Hillier was part of the Swans Academy in Newcastle and was a Black Diamond representative and a best and fairest winner at Cardiff.
Hillier, 19, moved to Wagga recently and was impressed by what’s happening at Coolamon.
“To be honest, it has a good feel to it,” Hillier said of Coolamon.
“The way Marshal (Macauley) and Connor (Neyland) were talking, it sounds like a good place to be around and they are really keen on taking the club to bigger and better things.”
Hillier’s signing continues a strong off-season for Coolamon.
They have welcomed new coach Connor Neyland on board, while also securing the signings of Nick Pleming and Hillier, with one more to be announced shortly.
The Hoppers have only lost Nick Curran to East Wagga-Kooringal and Ryan Chamberlain to retirement.
Neyland was pleased to get Hillier on board and is looking forward to adding another quality young player to the Hoppers’ mix.
“He’s a young fella but despite being so young, he’s still got a fair bit of experience in terms of where he’s played,” Neyland said.
“He’s come from a high level of footy and he’ll bring some pace and a lot of talent to our side.”
Hillier plays primarily through the midfield and wing.
He spent most of the season at Wodonga Raiders in reserve grade but managed four senior games under Darren Cresswell.
Hillier loved the Ovens and Murray experience and hopes to be able to use it to his advantage at Kindra Park.
“It was very good, I absolutely loved it,” he said.
“It’s a high standard of footy and you’ve got some good players around you. The players and coaches at Wodonga helped me a lot along the way, it was a good experience and hopefully I can take that to the RFL, take it to Coolamon and try my best.”
Hillier is looking forward to a taste of the Riverina League.
“I’ve watched a bit the last couple of years,” he said.
“It’s still that high standard but is also that bit of country footy so I’m looking forward to it.”
Coolamon finished this season strongly to grab fifth place and went down narrowly to Griffith in the elimination final.