Young’s hunt for a quality playmaker is over after luring Bobby Roberts from West Belconnen.
Roberts was named the best player in the Canberra Raiders Cup in 2016 and his signing is a big coup for the premiership aspirations of the Cherrypickers.
Young captain-coach James Woolford was thrilled to have him on board.
“He can play football,” Woolford said.
“You don’t win the Canberra Player of the Year for no reason.
“He won that two years ago and we are looking to bring him to Young with that type of form and hopefully he can continue on.”
Woolford revealed a family connection helped Young secure the deal.
Roberts’ grandfather Kerry lives in Young and the 28-year-old said part of the reason for the shift was so he could see him play.
“I’ve spent a bit of time over with my grandfather and now he can come a watch a few more games,” Roberts said.
“He hasn’t been too well and has had a bit of a rough trot so I’ve decided to come over so he can watch a few more games.”
The playmaker will continue to live in Canberra and Woolford hopes the move can spark a return to his best form.
After taking out the Les McIntyre Medal, Roberts kicked the winning penalty goal in the 2016 grand final win but struggled to repeat that form in 2017.
He even dropped back to reserve grade at stages.
“He didn’t have the best year last year, some things went against him, but he is ready to turn it around,” Woolford said.
“He’s come for an opportunity here and we are hoping he takes it with both hands.”
The Warriors struggled to deal with a number of players missing due to representative commitments and after missing part of the pre-season due to night shift the playmaker felt he was “behind the eight ball.”
However Roberts has been working hard already to back to his best for 2018.
“I’m feeling good, feeling fit and keen for a big year,” Roberts said.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work already just to get on the front foot and will start with the Pickers on Saturday morning just to do a bit of extra fitness.”
While a five-eighth with the Warriors, Roberts is expected to move to halfback for the Pickers.
He’s set to play alongside Jesse Corcoran.
The 28-year-old is unperturbed by the position switch.
“With your half and five-eighth there is not too much difference with the way football is played these days,” Roberts said.
“It is just a number on your back and you play as an organiser.
“It will be my role within the halves whether it is six or seven.”
He’s been touted as an ideal replacement for Ray Talimalie, who was stood down by the club and remains behind bars after being charged following a brawl in Young last month.