WODONGA Raiders have signed excitement machine Dale Cox.
'Cox is living in Western Australia but is set to relocate to the area ahead of the new season.
The 22-year-old previously played for Henty in 2019 under coach Joel Price.
Price was instrumental in Cox signing at Birallee Park after being appointed assistant coach under Marc Almond.
In a further bonus, young Leeton-Whitton defender Jason Burke has also committed for next year.
The 19-year-old was part of the GWS Academy this year and has also nominated for this week's AFL draft.
Almond said the duo had the potential to develop into more than handy players in the Ovens and Murray.
"Their potential is huge," Almond said.
"I already rate Dale as a very talented player and there is so much upside to him and he is only in his early 20s.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see him develop into an A-grader of the competition.
"He can be a flashy player but is a lot more consistent in the way he goes about it.
"I'm really excited about what level he can get to."
Cox is set to play across half-back with his pace and creativity two of his biggest assets.
"Predominantly Dale is a rebounding defender but we will experiment with a few other roles for him during the season," he said.
"Dale defends well in the air and is not just about all out attack.
"When he played TAC Cup for Greater Western Victoria Rebels he averaged five tackles most weeks and defended really well.
"His pace allows him to get out of traffic and his foot skills are exceptional.
"His game style suits playing on Birallee Park.
"We are hoping Dale enjoys the move and can remain at the club for an extended period."
ALSO IN SPORT
Burke played 10-matches for Leeton-Whitton this season when free of GWS Academy commitments.
He also played in all four matches the Giants contested in the NAB league.
"Jason is looking to play at the highest standard he can and we are thrilled to have signed him," Almond said.
"He is a 195cm athletic defender and will be a more than handy pick-up.
"Jason has got AFL aspirations and obviously a lot has to go right for that to happen for him.
"We lack a key defender and while Jason is only young and needs to add some size, his highlights package is impressive.
"He has great closing speed and meets the ball at the highest point in the air.
"Jason has got a bit of aggression about him as well and we are excited to see him commit."
The signings are welcome news at Birallee Park with the club the hardest hit by departures during the off-season.
Triple best and fairest winner Jydon Neagle, Steve Jolliffe, Connor Newnham, Scott Meyer, siblings Dylan and Hayden Clarke and Declan Everett have all found new homes.
In contrast both Corowa-Rutherglen and Wodonga have enjoyed a productive lead-up to the pre-season with several signings.
The pair looked to have narrowed the gap on the Raiders and appear well poised to pounce if Almond's charges slide outside the top-five.
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