Master returns: Blues buoyed by the return of Zac Masters

In a huge boost to the Tumut Blues Group 9 title defence, Zac Masters has back flipped on the East Tigers to re-sign with Tumut for the 2020 season.

The 22-year-old, who signed with the Queensland Cup side late last year, didn’t take long to return to the Blues.

“A few things didn’t work out up in Brisbane and I wasn’t happy, so I decided to move back,” he said.

“I didn’t have any work sorted up there until after Christmas, so I had a lot of spare time, it drove me nuts.

“I had to think about whether it was worth it, and for me it wasn’t.”

Masters knew he had made the right decision once he arrived back in Tumut.

“I love this place, we don’t realise how lucky we are until we leave,” he said.

“I’m a family orientated person and I’ve got some great mates here (and) that has always made it hard for me to leave.”

Group 9’s most dominant forward had no issues finding work either, with the popular player joining coach Lachlan Bristow with Valmar.
“I got work as soon as I got back to Tumut, doing disability support with Valmar, something I’ve always wanted to have a go at,” he said.

“I’ll be back at the schools when school goes back and I will try and do some disability support as well.”

The barnstorming bookend is now focused on building on the foundations of the Blues 2019 grand final win and hopes to help the club to more success.

“Looking forward, my plan it to try and have some more success with the Blues,” he said.

“With Lachlan and Dean (Bristow) at the helm, the club is in good stead.”

Masters anticipates the Blues will now get started with their preseason training and preparations for the upcoming Group 9 season.

“I’m really excited to get into training and start preparing for the season ahead,” he said.

“Back-to-back would be nice wouldn’t it; while I think we can, I don’t think we need to worry about that at this stage, that’s a long way away.

“We just need to focus on improving week-to-week as a team and the rest will take care of itself.

“We will have a target on our back each and every week this year, which will be a challenge, but a challenge for us to accept – now that we all know what it takes to win a premiership, I’m sure we won’t need any more motivation.”

The announcement that Masters had returned to Tumut, was met with support by the Blues administration and coaching staff.

Blues co-coach Dean Bristow highlighted the importance of Masters to the Blues line up and suggested that recruiting has now become all the more easier going forward.

“It’s great news to have Zac on board,” he said.

“I think everyone knows what he brings to the side and it would have been impossible to find a replacement for him, so recruiting has been made a lot easier.”

Blues president Bryan Black was looking more into the future and earmarked Masters as a potential captain/coach for the proud club.

“Zac is a high quality player that the club can build around; he is only young and one of the best forwards in the game,” he said.

“If he can stay injury free, he can become a highly decorated player for Tumut (and) in years to come, we may ask him about coaching so he can implement some of the training regimes he has been part of the last few years with his representative honours.”

With Masters now signed and the addition of Matthew Byatt to the playing ranks, the Blues will now turn their attention to Jed Pearce in an attempt to assemble a very formidable front row rotation.