Albury Thunder has signed arguably the greatest player in its history.
Former coach Ben Jeffery will return to the club after coaching Wagga Kangaroos for the past two years.
“It’s exciting to have Benny back down, he’s a likeable character, who’s a natural footballer,” coach Adrian Purtell said.
“I can’t wait to have him back.”
Jeffery has been one of the league’s most ‘natural’ players since arriving on the Border with a bang six years ago.
The former fullback is not a manufactured player, he’s an “eyes up” player who can spot weaknesses on the run.
The Thunder has just completed its 27th season in Group 9 and there’s every chance Jeffery is the best in that time.
“In those (premiership) years (2012-14), it was amazing,” president Rick O’Connell said.
“I think he scored 26 tries in that first year.”
Jeffery, a former NRL player with Wests Tigers and the Gold Coast, obliterated the league’s point-scoring in 2012, pushing an average of 20 points per game.
Ten per match is considered an outstanding achievement.
“Certainly he’ll boost us with his talent, he just adds to the leadership group too and will be a good support for Adrian,” O’Connell said.
The Thunder missed finals for the third time in the past four seasons.
“We need some experience in the team and in terms of that, he’ll be a different player for sure,” Purtell said.
Jeffery’s arrival will provide the game with a massive boost, although it would be unfair to think at 32 next year, he’ll tear the competition apart.
The club is also expecting to announce two more signings next week.
But it’s not all good news with hard-working second-rower Jon Huggett looking to play overseas as a lifestyle change.
“He just wants to do it before he can’t and he said, ‘I’ll be back’ and I said, ‘no problems, as long as it’s before June 30,’” O’Connell laughed