WODONGA Raiders have moved on quickly from the disappointment of collecting the wooden spoon, signing Queanbeyan star Steven Jolliffe.
Jolliffe, 21, was instrumental in leading the Tigers to an upset grand final victory against Sydney Swans reserves last season and has opted to follow recently appointed co-coach and premiership teammate Ben Klemke to Birallee Park.
The classy midfielder was also a premiership player at Riverina club Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka in 2010 and has spent the past three seasons with Queanbeyan in the NEAFL.
He was the Dane Quade Medal winner in 2011 which recognises the best under 21 player in the North East Australian league.
Jolliffe has enjoyed another solid season this year and has been named in the Tigers’ best on nine occasions.
The classy ball winner is expected to fill the hole left by five-time best and fairest winner Mark Doolan who recently signed with Chiltern as assistant coach.
Raiders coach Ken Stevenson said Jolliffe, who has signed on for the next two seasons, would be a valuable addition as he attempts to rebuild the club’s list after a disappointing season.
“Steve will add to our midfield rotations and is a highly skilled onballer who averaged 32 possession a game last year,” Stevenson said.
“He has obviously played with Ben for the past two seasons.
“They will both relocate here in October and be right to start pre-season training the following month.”
Stevenson said the Raiders had already re-signed 33 players from this year’s list, including Melbourne imports Dean Limbach, Michael Steven and Dean Giles.
Midfielder Todd Bryant is the only senior player yet to recommit as he weighs up work commitments.
Jolliffe joins Klemke and Yackandandah forward Trent Castles who signed as assistant coach last month.
Castles enjoyed an outstanding season with the Roos and finished runner-up in the Barton medal behind Cameron McNeill.