Josh Starling to captain-coach Oberon Tigers

SIGNED: Oberon Tigers will be captain-coached by Josh Starling in 2019 and 2020. He hopes to bring a new steel edge to the side. Photo: SUPPLIED
SIGNED: Oberon Tigers will be captain-coached by Josh Starling in 2019 and 2020. He hopes to bring a new steel edge to the side. Photo: SUPPLIED

FORMER NRL footballer Josh Starling is set to captain-coach the Oberon Tigers from 2019 after signing a two-year contract.

Starling arrived in Oberon at the start of this year after playing for Newcastle in 2017.

The Tigers’ captain-coach position for next season was left vacant after St Pat’s announced the signing of Luke Branighan earlier this month.

Known as an uncompromising ball-playing front row forward, Starling, who is still only 28 years old, is looking to bring a steel edge to the Tigers under his reign.

He plans on launching the club’s 2019 assault off the back of an intense pre-season training program.

“If you want to play footy and you’re prepared to put in the effort, I’ll guarantee you’ll learn things at the Tigers,” he said.

“I’m going to bring a new style to the Tigers by introducing current NRL techniques and training programs.” 

Oberon were labelled as pre-season favourites to claim the premiership but were unable to break their 42-year Group 10 premiership drought after losing 22-16 to Bathurst Panthers in the opening week of the finals.

President Ian Christie-Johnston said the club didn’t live up to expectations. 

“Like a lot of teams, injuries and suspensions meant that the Tigers were rarely able to field a full-strength team,” he said.

“As such, match fitness was an issue,” he said.

One of the biggest name players plagued by injuries was the club’s former captain-coach Branighan, who took to the field only nine times.

However, Starling appeared in every single match for the Tigers in 2018.

Starling started his career with South Sydney in 2012, before moving to Manly between 2014 and 2016.

He played just one season for the Newcastle Knights in 2017 before retiring from the professional level of the game.