The New Zealand Warriors have added depth to their playmaking resources by signing Penrith’s Harry Siejka on a two-year NRL contract through to the end of the 2014 season.
The Bathurst-born 20-year-old made a whirlwind visit to Auckland today to officially sign his contract, meet his new team-mates at the club’s temporary training base at the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health on the North Shore and then fly back to Sydney. He’ll return at the weekend to begin training with the squad on Monday.
A halfback who can also play at standoff as well as being a goal-kicker, Siejka has the distinction of playing in each of the NYC’s first five seasons in existence, having made his debut as a 16-year-old in 2008. An Australian Schoolboys representative in 2007 and 2010, he has four NRL appearances to his credit since his first-grade debut last year.
“I’ve had a lot to do with (head coach) Matt (Elliott) and couldn’t be more excited about having the opportunity to join him at the Vodafone Warriors,” said Siejka.
“This club has so much going for it in terms of the playing roster and the coaching staff Matt has put together. It’s going to be great being involved here.
“While I’ve played a lot of NYC football I’ve had only a few games at first-grade level and coming here is about having the chance of playing a lot more. This is a new challenge for me and I’m desperate to make the most of it.”
New Vodafone Warriors head coach Elliott has strong links with Siejka from his time as Penrith coach from 2007-2011.
“I saw Harry coming through the system, being signed in 2008 and then making his mark in the NYC,” he said.
“He has always been a player with heaps of ability, exactly what we need to add depth in our halves. He’s going to be a valuable member of our squad and he’s certainly in the right place to play his best footy.”
Across the last five seasons, Siejka made 64 NYC appearances for Penrith scoring a total of 284 points including 25 tries. Not used extensively as a goal-kicker in his first three seasons in the competition, he was the principal kicker in 2011 and 2012.
His career highlight so far was a man of the match display for New South Wales in this year’s inaugural under-20s State of Origin clash, the Blues beating Queensland 18-14 on a night when he scored a try and kicked three goals.
Of Polish heritage, Siejka (pronounced Sigh-kah) has two brothers and three sisters. Older brother Stirling played NYC football with him for the Panthers in 2009 before joining Gold Coast. The family also has a strong background in the trotting industry.