QUEANBEYAN Tigers player/coach Kade Klemke will have little time to reflect on this year’s success with planning for the club’s 2013 campaign set to begin within the next few weeks.
Having recommitted to Queanbeyan for a further 12 months back in August, Klemke now faces the unenviable task of backing up what has proven a breakthrough season for the club.
In positive early signs, Klemke said the Tigers appear set to retain the bulk of their premiership winning side for next season.
“At the moment we’re in the process of re-signing and most of the boys are back on board but there’s still a couple we’ve got to get to,” he said. “We’ll have to look at recruiting as well to try and replace those guys like [retired defender] Roy [Jaques] who is going to leave a massive hole in our backline.”
At just 22 and in his first year of coaching at NEAFL level, Klemke has been credited with transforming Queanbeyan into a premiership force this season.
And although the Tigers were unable to finish off on a high in last weekend’s 22.12 (144) to 11.9 (75) cross-conference grand final loss to the Brisbane Lions, the rookie mentor didn’t hesitate in labelling the year as a success.
“I couldn’t be much prouder of the boys and what they’ve done this year,” Klemke said. “Coming from second last to finish as minor premiers and then winning the Eastern Conference is a great effort.”