Henwood Park striker Jake Ploenges will swap the Hawks’ red and navy strip for bright orange in hopes of a brighter future.
In one of the biggest Football Wagga off-season coups in recent memory, Wagga United last week secured the services of Ploenges for the 2019 season in a clear display of premiership intent.
The former Wagga City Wanderers representative has been among the competition’s most dangerous strikers since entering first grade in 2014 and was a standout for the Hawks in their 2017 premiership season.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old is committed to farewell his junior club in search of greener pastures.
“I didn’t enjoy football at Henwood this year, so I’m going for a new team, new club and new surroundings to see if that’ll make things better,” Ploenges said.
He’ll play an important role in the team and he’s a class player, so it’s just about taking the time for him to adapt to our playing style.Wagga United coach Travis Weir
“It’s exciting to be playing under (Wagga United coach) Travis (Weir) as well.”
It’s a move that serves both Ploenges and United well after a revitalised season from the men in orange.
United’s relatively new-look squad impressed en route to a semi final berth earlier this year and Ploenges’ addition will serve to compliment the likes of Nazar Yousif up front.
“We’re retaining most of our squad from last year and while we’ll lose Jack Schein and Ben Smith, our starting XI will look the same and there’s definitely a spot there for Jakey,” Weir said.
“He’ll play an important role in the team and he’s a class player, so it’s just about taking the time for him to adapt to our playing style.”
Signing his rival club’s go-to man has marked Weir’s clear flag aspirations and United fans will be eager to see their side go one better and make the decider next year.
“We went close this year even though we changed around our structures and ended up going a kick away from the final. We’re going to get better too, so it’s an exciting time for the club,” Weir said.
After more than nine seasons in the Hawks’ jersey, Ploenges is prepared to cop a warm welcome from his former team mates when United meet Henwood Park next season.
“It’ll be fun and probably a bit dangerous, but we’ll see how it goes,” Ploenges said.
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