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Warriors sign unheralded halfback

Published: 8:04AM Friday August 07, 2009 Source: ONE Sport

The Warriors have moved quickly to sign promising Melbourne halfback-standoff James Maloney following Stacey Jones' decision not to play another season in 2010.

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah on Friday confirmed the 23-year-old Maloney, who has made four NRL appearances for the Storm this year, had been secured on a two-year contract with an option for a third season in 2012.

"Once Stacey indicated he wasn't keen to play again next year, we made it clear we would be signing another half to boost our depth," he said.

"We've been interested in James for some time and we're delighted we've been able to come to terms with him so quickly."

Click here for James Maloney's profile.

Maloney joined Melbourne this year after a stint with Parramatta, making his first-grade debut at standoff in the Storm's fifth-round 16-14 win against Penrith in April. He started at No.6 in two of his other three NRL matches while his other appearance was off the bench.

Last year he led Parramatta's feeder club Wentworthville to the New South Wales Cup premiership and this year he has been guiding Melbourne's well-performed feeder side Central Coast in the same competition.

He was also selected in the New South Wales Residents side for their clash against Queensland Residents played as a curtain-raiser to last month's final State of Origin match in Brisbane.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said Maloney is a goal-kicking playmaker with plenty of ability.

"With Cooper Cronk at the Storm and then Brett Finch being signed, it hasn't been easy for James to get much time in the NRL," he said.

He has played a lot of his football at halfback but also plays at No.6, which he has done at NRL level. He's also a very good goal-kicking option.

"We've seen a bit of him and every time he's lined up against the Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup he has looked one of the best players on the park.

"His signing gives us more options in the halves after learning we won't have Stacey next year."

Apart from Maloney and fellow new signing Brett Seymour, the Warriors' other contenders in the halves next season include Joel Moon, Isaac John and Aaron Heremaia.

Shaun Johnson is coming through in the NYC and he'll a full-time member of the Warriors' wider NRL squad while still being eligible for the NYC.

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