THE RETURN: Josh Cleeland confirms he will be an Ipswich Jet in season 2019, signing on the dotted line with CEO Richard Hughes watching on.
THE RETURN: Josh Cleeland confirms he will be an Ipswich Jet in season 2019, signing on the dotted line with CEO Richard Hughes watching on. Cordell Richardson

2015 premiership winner returns to Jets

IPSWICH got its man.

Josh Cleeland is heading home.

The 27-year-old yesterday signed on the dotted line confirming he will be an Ipswich Jet in 2019, after NRL clubs spurned an opportunity to sign the out of contract five-eight.

Since his breakout 2015 season with the Jets which culminated in winning the NRL State Championship in Sydney, Cleeland has spent three years on NRL books with Cronulla and most recently Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.

Last year he was a key cog in the Bulldogs' run to the Intrust Super Premiership trophy, and was best on ground against Redcliffe in a thumping NRL State Championships win on NRL grand final weekend.

MORE ON THIS STORY HERE: 'I'm not giving up': Cleeland still has NRL dream

However Cleeland was never granted an opportunity to prove his wares with the Bulldogs' NRL side, and he and the club went their separate ways at the end of last season.

Despite the insistence of Bulldogs ISP coach Steve Georgalis and his former Jets coach Shane Walker that he was ready for a shot in the NRL, Cleeland was again overlooked for a top 30 contract.

However the Sydney club's loss is the Jets' gain, and Cleeland appears primed to fill the void left by his 2015 halves partner Dane Phillips who retired at the end of last season.

Cleeland has been training with the Jets for the past two weeks having moved back to Ipswich in December.

He said he is looking forward to getting back to his football roots in his hometown, and rediscovering the passion to play as an Ipswich Jet.