Orange CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan has taken a swipe at the “keyboard warriors” claiming Oberon has bought the 2018 Group 10 premiership after signing former NRL prop Josh Starling.
The Tigers announced the signature of the ex-Knights prop on Monday, the addition of the 80-NRL-gamer completing a monumental week of recruitment for Luke Branighan’s side after snaring CYMS’ fullback Ben McAlpine and Ron Massey Cup forward Mick Hawkings, too.
All three would command top dollar, and Sullivan doesn’t have a problem with that.
“If you’ve got someone backing the club, like Ross (Gibson) is, then wouldn’t you go after the best players you can get,” Sullivan said.
“Buying the comp … it’s just a silly statement. No one knows what they’re on. People don’t know what Panthers paid their squad this year, what Hawks spend … it’s just a keyboard warrior comment.
“We’ve copped it before, but we’ve recruited players on less money than what others have offered.
Buying the comp … it’s just a silly statement.
“It’s just a silly statement, often by others who don’t do it well.
“I’m excited to see the signing. We tentatively spoke to (Starling), too, but it looked as if he was going to Oberon.”
Sullivan is the last player to land in Group 10 straight out of the NRL – he signed with CYMS for the 2010 season after playing 2009 with the Bulldogs.
Five Group 10 premier league premierships later, Sullivan says Oberon emerging as a serious contender can only be a good thing for country footy in the western region.
“Anything that strengthens the comp is a good thing,” he added.
But the master coach warned having the best players is one thing, ensuring the group works well together, happily, is an entirely different beast.
“They haven’t won the comp. They’ve still got to get it all together. There’s a number of factors. Getting the cattle is one thing, keeping them happy is another,” he said.