THE Ipswich Jets have put the Brad Wolens saga behind them, announcing a deal with new major sponsor Stockland yesterday.
The property group has joined the Jets on a one-year deal with an option for a further two in what interim Jets CEO Wayne Wendt described as "the biggest sponsorship we've obtained in Jets history."
It is not just the size of the sponsorship (of which Wendt would not reveal financial figures), but the fact it includes the Ipswich Junior Rugby League, which was of greatest benefit to rugby league in Ipswich.
Combined with the Jets' recent deal as a Brisbane Broncos affiliate, all the steps are in place to provide young Ipswich rugby league players with a "seamless transition," from juniors, through the Jets to the big time.
"It allows the club a bit of breathing space to develop young people," Wendt said.
"Stockland are an Australia-wide company with a community focus and that's what the Jets are all about."
Former Jets CEO Wolens left the club last week after resigning, having been effectively sacked.
Finding a long-term replacement for Wolens seems to be the final piece in the Jets jigsaw, now there is a major sponsor and the coaches are locked in for a further three years.
"We wanted to stay," Ben Walker said of the new contract he and Shane signed with the Jets.
Ben said the length of the deal was "more or less," at the Walker brothers' request.
"We want to stay longer if possible. Three years will do in the meantime."
Unless, of course, an NRL position becomes available, in which case the Walkers are able to leave the Jets.
Until then, however, they still have big goals they hope to achieve with Ipswich.
"This squad has been built over the past two years," Ben said.
"It is a squad we feel is developing. We've got most of them signed (for 2013).
"Three more years is enough time to bring more Ipswich juniors through, which is what we want to do.
"We're starting to get them through now."
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