Pigeon coup: Pettifer joins Yarrawonga

YARRAWONGA has landed former Richmond livewire Kayne Pettifer.

And, in an ominous warning, the former AFL star says he’s never felt better since retiring from the top level.

In a massive coup, the high-flying forward put pen to paper with the Pigeons this week and will spend next season at J.C. Lowe Oval.

The signing comes in the wake of superstar Brendan Fevola committing to a second season with the club and Pettifer, 30, said he couldn’t wait to line up alongside the dual Coleman medal winner next year.

The Pigeons, hot favourites to win back-to-back premierships, now boast one of the most lethal forward-lines in Ovens and Murray history with Pettifer set to combine with Fevola, Brad O’Connor, Craig Ednie and Marcus ­McMillan in attack.

“I’m pretty excited,” Pettifer said.

“I came very close to playing there last year but Craig went and signed with Mulwala.

“We’ve always wanted to play together again and with Brendan there, too, it was the perfect opportunity. He’s an extraordinary player.

“Hopefully I can contribute, keep out of the big fella’s way and the guys can have a big year.

“I actually feel the best I’ve felt in a while.”

Pettifer kicked 51 goals in 15 games for Montmorency in the Northern league this year after stints with East Perth and Montrose.

He is close friends with Yarrawonga champion Ednie and said he would have joined the Pigeons last season had the reigning Did Simpson medallist not signed with Mulwala first.

Ednie later backflipped on that decision to play a decisive role in the Pigeons’ premiership win.

Pettifer had been linked previously to the Pigeons, in late 2009, but opted to return to home club Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley league.

Pettifer kicked 83 goals in 22 matches for Kyabram in 2010.

He was also linked to Albury at that time.

The former Richmond forward then went close to joining Wodonga Raiders the following summer but instead decided on a move to Western Australia to play in the WAFL.

Pettifer said it was time to settle down and his finish his career.

“I’ve been moving around clubs a bit so I’m keen to get a home now and finish off with a good couple of years there,” he said.

Taken with pick nine in the 2000 AFL draft, Pettifer played 113 games for Richmond before he was delisted at the end of 2009.

He kicked 132 goals in his AFL career.