ALBURY Thunder has signed star Tumbarumba captain-coach Robbie Byatt.
With the Greens going into recess for 12 months, Thunder have wasted little time swooping on the talented centre.
Byatt said it had been a tough few months at Tumbarumba with the club battling dwindling numbers but is looking forward to a new challenge.
“It's really disappointing what has happened at Tumbarumba,” Byatt said.
“You don't want to see a club go down especially when you are the coach.
“It's just the way things worked out with players and stuff.
“I'm really excited to get started and put my head down at Albury though.
“Everything is out of the way now and I’'m keen to get into it.”
Byatt played under Josh Cale while representing Riverina and said the friendship was the key factor behind him joining Albury.
“Josh gave me a bell and it rolled on from there,” he said.
“I’ve known him for a fair while.”
Byatt has coached Tumbarumba for the past two seasons after spending 12 months playing in England.
He previously played for Queanbeyan Kangaroos in 2013 and 2014.
After a disappointing 2017, Albury Thunder will field a new-look side this year under first-year coach Adrian Purtell.
English youngster Brad Hill and Bombala’s Adam Rodwell have arrived at Greenfield Park while Dave Cowhan and Levi Freeman head the departures.
“Robbie's a real competitor and a really good dude,” Purtell said.
“We're excited to get him down to Thunder.
“He's knows the competition and is a leader being the captain-coach at Tumbarumba.
“I haven't played here for a long time so he's going to be really handy in that regard as well."
Tumbarumba had been in discussions with Tumut before opting to go into recess.