PREMIERSHIP-winning coach Jade Williams will leave Dubbo in the next few weeks after agreeing to take up a position with Group 9 club Junee.
Williams, 26, agreed to terms with the Diesels late last week, keen on a move closer to his old home town of Wagga Wagga, where he played his junior football primarily with Wagga Kangaroos.
John Grey, who played centre in the Raiders 2012 premiership side, has signed on to take the role.
Williams leaves behind a legacy that, although it was only two years long, delivered the Raiders a premiership title and helped Group 11 to two NSW Country Championships.
"It's a good challenge and I think it's good to keep looking for new challenges," Williams said.
"From what I've been told they haven't won a competition for 26 or 27 years so it would be nice to be able to end that drought for them."
“I really enjoyed my time with Macquarie and I think we developed a pretty tight-knit group this year but we achieved what I set out to achieve when I started so I thought it was a good time to move on.
“I love Macquarie and the support they gave me on and off the field was amazing. A lot of clubs don’t give that same support or have that same culture and that is something I’m hoping to get going at Junee.”
Williams said he had a number of offers to move away in 2013, including one in Queensland, but when that fell through the Junee job was the next best on his list.
And he hasn’t ruled out trying to poach a bit of talent from Group 11.
“From the discussions I’ve had with Junee they are pretty well placed for players but perhaps need a couple more big frames,” he said.
“Football is a dog-eat-dog world and if there’s guys available that I think can fit what Junee needs, then I won’t be afraid to see what their plans are.”
With Grey to take over the reins and the club set to start training early next month, Williams said he wouldn’t be afraid to help the rookie coach if needed.
“Johnny will have a bit to learn as a coach, just like I did at the start of 2011,” Williams said. “We’ve spoken and he knows he faces a challenge but I think he will thrive in the job. He’s a very professional guy.
“I’m sure we’ll talk as the season goes along and pick each other’s brains on things and I really wish him and the club well.”