Versatile playmaker Adam Coote a boost for Albury Thunder’s defence

ALBURY Thunder has landed its first off-season recruit by luring Aberdeen utility Adam Coote to Greenfield Park.

Coote trained with the reigning Group 9 premiers on Tuesday night with coach Josh Cale saying his versatility would make him a vital inclusion.

“Adam can play hooker, halfback or fullback so we have a few options open to us,” Cale said.

“We’ll just wait and see how the team comes together.

“He’s only young and will bring a lot to the side.

“It will be good to have him on board.”

Coote, 23, had a solid year in Group 21 last season and has previously had stints with the North Devils in the Queensland Cup, Port Macquarie and Newcastle.

He is expected to make his debut for Thunder in the $13,000 West Wyalong Knockout next week.

“We will take a fairly strong squad to West Wyalong,” Cale said.

“I would say 18 or 19 will go with a few younger players in it.

“We didn’t play last year and lost to Orange CMYS the year before who are always strong.

“It will be a good hitout.”

Southcity has won the past two knockouts and will unleash boom recruits Nick Skinner and Zac Merritt on the competition.

The arrival of Coote will off-set the loss of halfback Mitch McLeod (overseas) and tough winger Dion Belford-Laulu.

Veterans Steve Meredith and Cale, who underwent a knee reconstruction last week, have retired.

The Thunder still has plenty of time to add to their list with the Group 9 season kicking off on Anzac Day when Brothers take on Kangaroos in a Wagga derby.

The reigning premier meets Gundagai in a replay of last year’s grand final at Greenfield Park the following day.