By: JESS WEBSTER
Klemke returns to NEAFL as Canberra coach
NEAFL premiership player Kade Klemke will return to the competition as head coach of the Canberra Demons for the next two seasons.
The former Queanbeyan star is a welcome boost to both the playing and coaching ranks for the Demons after their first season in the NEAFL this year.
At just 26, Klemke has built an extensive playing and coaching career at the Tigers, having joined the club as a playing-coach in 2012 where he led Queanbeyan to the NEAFL Eastern Conference premiership in his first season.
A three-time NEAFL Team of the Year member, Klemke also represented the league against Tasmania and Western Australia in 2014 before the Tigers exited the competition.
Klemke said in a statement he was excited to move in to the next chapter in his football journey at the helm of the Demons, with a focus on providing opportunities to the next generation of talent from the region.
“Coaching the Canberra Demons is the next step in my football journey and I am both proud and excited to be leading the Canberra Demons with a charter of building a successful outfit in NEAFL,” he said.
“The Queanbeyan Tigers Football Club has been great for my development as a coach, and I cannot thank them enough for their support over the past five years.
“I look forward to providing the opportunity for the best players in the Canberra and Southern New South Wales regions, whilst developing the local emerging talent.
“My overarching philosophy is that participating in any sporting competition is not about making up the numbers - it is about creating and building the opportunity to be successful as individuals and as a team.”
Canberra General Manager-Football, Shaun Young, said Klemke was the perfect fit for the role as the Demons look to build on a ninth-placed finish in 2016.
“We are extremely excited to have Kade on board to lead the Canberra Demons program over the next couple of years,” he said.
“Kade brings with him a wealth of coaching knowledge and experience that will assist the Canberra Demons in their endeavour to achieve success in the NEAFL.
“He will also build strong relationships with the football families in the Canberra and Southern New South Wales regions, and promote the Canberra Demons as the pathway for talented AFL players wanting to play at the highest possible level without having to move interstate.”
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