Southcity winger Jack Lyons might have spent a season abroad but there’s no place like home for the flying winger.
A Bulls premiership-winner and seemingly life-long player, Lyons made headlines after making a shock switch to cross-town rivals Kangaroos last year in a bid to challenge himself under coach Ben Jeffrey.
The then-21-year-old was excited to be part of a developing Kangaroos unit but had his season collapse around him in the opening round of the year.
Lyons broke his wrist on debut and found it difficult to find the form that saw him score 59 tries for Southcity in the three seasons prior.
Fast-forward 18 months and the speedster is back at Harris Park eyeing off another title.
Speaking ahead of this year’s decider against Gundagai, Lyons holds no ill-feeling towards Kangaroos and insists coming back to Southcity just felt right to him.
“My decision definitely had nothing to do with the Roos,” Lyons said.
“I liked my time there and the players I was with but I didn’t get to play as much footy as I wanted after the injury.
“Coming back (to Southcity) this year felt like coming home. It’s my junior club and it’s nice to be back there.”
Lyons’ injury hampered any real shot of emulating his try-scoring feats for Kangaroos last season but the form his former team sought after has certainly returned this year.
Lyons has 18 tries to his name in just 15 games this season, including a try in Southcity’s major semi final victory over Brothers, and dotted down against Kangaroos during their second clash back in July.
He’s also bagged three doubles, a hat-trick and a sensational double hat-trick against Temora with the kind of performance that keeps opposition coaches up at night.
The winger’s penchant for finding the chalk has put him a close second on the Bulls’ try-scorers list behind Jake Dooley (21) and third overall in a successful return to the purple strip.
There’s still the occasional wrist trouble but Lyons says his job is easy with a quality back line inside him.
“It’s good to be scoring a few more tries and getting some of that confidence back, but it’s pretty easy when you’ve got players like Usaiah Sullivan and Nathan (Rose) playing with you,” Lyons said.
“Having them there has been really good and it’s been big for my confidence.”
Still among the younger players in a seasoned Bulls line up, Lyons has seen his fair share of deciders and is under no illusions about the challenge Gundagai will present on Saturday.
“They’re no stranger to finals footy and we know they’ll be tough. They’ll definitely turn up,” Lyons said.
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