Tumut Blues players and supporters will be buoyed by the news that hooker Lachlan Bristow has declared he will play on for the club in 2020.
Bristow, who put on a three try, man of the match performance against Southcity in the Group 9 grand final, was integral to the Blues and their success in the back end of their 2019 campaign.
“I’ll be sticking around for one more year, I’m enjoying my time back in Tumut and one more year will be good” he said.
Despite his grand final performance and success with the Blues, the popular rake wants to put an injury-riddled season behind him in preparation for a bigger and better 2020.
“I guess in footy terms, being injured for most of the season isn’t how I would want to go out,” he said.
“It wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been.”
Bristow unfortunately missed the first four rounds of the season after breaking his hand shortly after Tumut’s success in the Raiders Nines tournament.
The dogged dummy half returned to the fold in round five against Cootamundra and made an immediate impact for the Tumut side before suffering a lacerated kidney in Tumut’s blockbuster round nine loss to Gundagai.
The injury saw Bristow out for the following nine weeks before returning for their finals and eventually tasting grand final success.
The announcement that Bristow will play on in 2020 will hopefully spur on other players yet to commit for next season and beyond.
Unfortunately, changes to the Blues premiership winning line up can’t be avoided with Ben Roddy retiring and Jason Webb set to move away at the end of this year.
The future of Blues bookends Zac Masters and Jed Pearce is also very cloudy with neither player signed for next season.
Pearce, who is based in Canberra, struggled at times with the travel to and from training and game days.
“Some weeks I was working 50 hours and then travelling to and from training on a Friday and travelling for games on a Sunday,” he said.
“It was really hard mentally and physically.”
In addition to the potential loss of both front rowers, the Blues are facing a potential coaching change.
Dean Bristow and Adam Pearce are yet to be confirmed as the coaches for 2020 and the club has yet to advertise the positions publicly.
There is talk that both players are interested in playing on but without the ongoing responsibility of coaching.
In some good news, Riverina Bulls representative Jordy Anderson has confirmed he will play on with Tumut for 2020.
Blues president Bryan Black is working hard at securing the services of a majority of their 2019 grand final winning team and is also hoping to add some quality players to the fold.
“We will endeavour to sign everyone from last year but there will be some change with Benny (Roddy) retiring,” he said.
“We are in talks with some players with more announcements expected soon.”
One thing is for sure, it will be an interesting couple of months for the Blues side and their vocal supporters, who are all eager to star penciling in players for their 2020 premiership defence.