Klemke keeps options open after league move

Kade Klemke
Kade Klemke

OUT-of-contract Queanbeyan coach Kade Klemke is weighing up his future after the Canberra club withdrew from the North East Australian Football League this week.

The Henty-raised star is certain to come under the recruiting radar of several Ovens and Murray and Hume league clubs after yesterday opening the door to a return to the Border.

Klemke said he was happy in Canberra but was yet to commit to the Tigers beyond the end of this year.

“It’s all up in the air a bit,” Klemke told The Border Mail.

“I’m not really sure but I’m pretty happy where we are and my wife is, too.

“It all really depends on what we decide to do.

“Whether I want to keep playing at that high level elsewhere, or play locally in Canberra, or go to the country is something I’m not really sure of at the moment.

“I don’t want to hang on too long though.”

Klemke, who revealed he planned to return to Henty at some point, said he wanted to reach a decision about his playing future before the season was over.

It is understood Henty co-coaches Brent Piltz and Jamarl O’Sullivan have informed club ­officials they are willing to step aside if the Swampies can find a suitable replacement for next season.

Klemke would fit that bill.

“Going back to the farm is something I’d like to do, eventually, but as for when that is — I’m not really sure,” he said.

Klemke, 24, spent the 2010 season at North Albury after being delisted by Essendon. He coached Culcairn in 2011 before signing with the Tigers in 2012.

He has coached Queanbeyan for the past three seasons, leading them to the NEAFL premiership with a shock win against the Sydney Swans’ reserves in his first year.

The former Murray Bushrangers captain said he wasn’t completely shocked by Queanbeyan’s decision to pull out of the NEAFL.

Belconnen and Sydney Hills also withdrew from the league this week, citing the financial challenges involved in staying competitive in the fast-improving competition as too difficult.

“It was getting harder to compete at that level and the club had to make a hard call,” Klemke said.