Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League 2019 Player of the Year Liam Foran to captain-coach Greta Branxton Colts

Colts gallop into prize signing

THE Aberdeen Tigers' loss is certainly the Greta Branxton Colts' gain.

The Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League club pulled off a massive coup this week, signing former Australian Schoolboys representative Liam Foran as its captain-coach for the next three years.

The talented playmaker has been an integral component of the Tigers' accomplishments - on and off the field - in recent seasons.

And, while Aberdeen succumbed to the Scone Thoroughbreds in the 2019 decider, Foran claimed the Group 21 Player of the Year and Halfback of the Year honours.

He's now keen to guide the Colts on a similar path to success.

"I'm excited about the challenge that awaits me," the ex-NRL star said.

"But, I'll admit, it's been one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in my football career.

"The Tigers welcomed me and my family from the start.

"So, it was definitely hard to leave.

"Over the past few years, I've made great friends that I now call family.

"The highlight was winning the grand final against the Muswellbrook Rams in my first season at the club in 2017 - and playing a key role in that win and receiving man of the match.

"I'd like to thank the loyal Aberdeen fans, the juniors, trainers, strappers, the committee and everyone who played a part in my Tigers' journey."

After stints with the Melbourne Storm, where he made his NRL debut, Auckland Warriors, Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles, Foran also spent two seasons in the English Super League before returning home to Australia.

It's that experience, which will assist the Colts after failing to field a first grade side this year.

"I'm looking forward to working with the local junior and senior players - and re-establishing Greta Branxton as a force to be reckoned with in Group 21," he said.

"I know it's not going to be easy.

"However, the challenge excites me - knowing I might be able to just help that little bit to put a competitive side on the paddock.

"It's my job to instill belief and confidence back into Greta Branxton.

"I'm hoping to create a culture throughout the club from the juniors to the seniors that breeds success.

"This comes from training hard and commitment to your team mates."

Foran admitted family also meant everything to him.

"One of the most important things [for me] is having the support of my wife and our three beautiful children," he said.

"I intend to make Greta Branxton a family-friendly club where partners and children are heavily-involved in all aspects of the organisation.

The Colts have scheduled a meet and greet for all interested players at Greta Oval on Tuesday, December 3, from 5pm.

A barbecue and drinks will be provided from 6pm.

"Grab a mate and come down to hear about our plans for 2020 and beyond," Foran said.

"Partners and kids are encouraged to attend, too."