Collingullie-Glenfield Park young gun Matt Klemke has accepted an invite to test himself with Canberra Demons.
In a blow to the Demons’ premiership defence, the youngest of Collingullie-GP’s Klemke brothers will play in the North Eastern Australian Football League (NEAFL) next year.
Klemke visited Canberra on Thursday and put pen to paper with the Demons. He will move to Canberra in the new year.
The promising young midfielder said it was an extremely difficult decision to leave Crossroads Oval.
“Yeah I’m going to give it a crack,” Klemke said.
“Kade (Klemke) rang me at the end of the season and asked if I wanted to have a crack.
“After winning a premiership at Collingullie with so many good people and good friends, it was a very hard one. It took me a long time to think. But as a 21-year-old I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.”
He is the second Klemke to depart Collingullie-GP after their premiership win in September. His older brother Jayden, a four-time club best and fairest winner, has signed with West Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).
The eldest Klemke, Ben, is expected to stay for a second season at the Demons.
Matt, who finished third in Collingullie-GP’s best and fairest this year, is looking forward to testing himself at NEAFL level.
“I’m very keen. It’s going to be hard, very hard, but I’ll put in the hard yards and hopefully get a crack at it,” he said.
Klemke joined Collingullie-GP in 2016 and established himself as a tough on-baller and an integral part of the Demons’ midfield.
He said he loved every minute of his time at the club.
“The last three years I’ve been enjoying my footy a lot more, it’s been great, and I think that’s helped with a bit of form,” he said.
“I’ve loved it at Collingullie, especially winning the flag this year, with the brothers, heaps of mates and the club as a whole. I’ve seen the work that goes in around the club so it was great to get the premiership and reward everyone for all the hard work they put in.”
Klemke will add to a strong Riverina flavour at Canberra Demons, that includes his cousin, Kade, the senior coach, and the likes of Mitch Maguire, Lucas Meline, Mitch Hardie, Jacob Turner and Jono Spina.