WINGHAM captain-coach Mitch Collins is confident the Tigers are putting together a roster capable of challenging for next year's Group Three Rugby League premiership.
Collins will be taking on the coaching role for the first time, with the Tigers to start training on Thursday (December 2). This will be for all grades.
"I'm as keen as,'' the rookie mentor said.
"I can't wait.''
Collins coached Wingham's 18s this year while he assisted Paul Lewis in the latter part of the season with first grade when captain-coach Mick Sullivan was in lockdown on the Central Coast. Lewis will be assistant coach next year, while Collins said he'll have no hesitation in running a few ideas by Sullivan.
He said the Tigers have gained the services of experienced halfback, Adam Arsti, who has played in the Penrith system while he also had experience in the Ron Massey Cup. He's moved to Wingham with his family.
"It will be good to have an experienced halfback to help steer the younger blokes around,'' Collins said.
Kyran Bubb, a utility player who came to the Tigers with Sullivan in 2019, will also be back. He's capable of playing in the back row, five-eighth or centre.
Bubb was hindered by an ankle problem in 2019 while he had hip surgery last year, however, Collins confirmed he will be right for next season.
Quicksilver fullback Matt Bridge will be back in 2022 after missing this year while he recovered from knee reconstruction surgery. Promising five-eighth Harry Lewis was another absentee this year for the same reason. Bridge was injured in the 2020 Lower North Coast Rugby Union grand final when playing for Manning Ratz, while Lewis was hurt playing for Wingham under 18s that year.
Wingham junior Matt Prior is also expected to return home and will bolster the forward ranks, while the club is talking to Tim Watson, a representative back rower who last played in 2019.
"It's looking pretty good, although I'd like us to get one more outside back,'' Collins said.
He added some of the younger brigade Sullivan introduced to first grade this season will be in line for selection in 2022.
Tyler Atkins will coach reserve grade with Andrew Neaves in charge of under 18s. Ryan Morris will coach the women's league tag.
"We'll have three or four runs and then break for Christmas, ready to rip in again in January,'' Collins said.
He said the Tigers have a trial lined up against Toukley while he hopes to organise one more game.
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