WITH the dust barely settled on the Group Nine grand final, Kangaroos have struck with the supreme signing of decorated playmaker Jayden Kelly.
In a decisive move for the 2016 season, Kelly jumped on board with the Wagga club on Wednesday night.
Kelly is widely regarded as one of the most influential players in the Riverina, and has an impeccable rugby league resume, including premiership victories in Group Nine and Group 20.
Two years ago, Kelly inspired Tullibigeal Lakes United to eclipse the Group 20 title before claiming the best and fairest award in the competition in 2014.
Significantly, Kelly last played for Kangaroos in 2009 and was a formidable force as the team blazed to the Group Nine crown, thrashing Gundagai 42-4 in the grand final.
Re-signed Kangaroos captain-coach Adam Hall has hailed the return of Kelly as a turning point for the club.
Hall described the acquisition of Kelly as “very good news”.
“He’s not just a great player, he’s so experienced,” Hall said.
“You only have to look at his resume to know what a great players he is.
“His record in club and representative football is hard to match.”
Hall is adamant the recruitment of Kelly, who battled injury with TLU this year, is a giant step forward for the team on several levels.
“Jayden will definitely a big help in so many ways,” Hall said.
“Obviously he’s the sort of player that good players will want to play alongside.”
Hall has already inked in Kelly for a critical position in the halves next year.
“That will allow me to move into the forwards,” Hall said.
“I think that’s a positive plan.”
The signing of Kelly comes as Roos make a concerted effort to retain the bulk of this year’s successful team.
Hall reported key personnel, including Jake Dooley, Liam Duffy, Zeik Foster and Zac Graham, had already agreed to stay, while other players were also considering their options.
Boom second rower Nathan Campbell has returned to Newcastle, but Hall is still optimistic the forward will be back for 2016.
A mid-year recruit, Campbell was a revelation as Roos finished fourth on the table before losing 48-14 to Young in an elimination final in August.
Always striving to be ahead of the pack, Hall has booked Roos for the $12,000 West Wyalong Knockout in February.
“That’s a 100 per cent definite for us,” he said.
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