A refreshed Josh Merritt is hopeful he can help take Nyngan the extra step they fell short of during last year’s finals series and win the 2018 Group 11 premiership.
Merritt has been tremendous since making the mid-season switch back west, following a few months in Group 10 with Bathurst St Pat’s.
The 26-year-old prodigiously talented halfback admits travel between Dubbo and Bathurst weighed heavily on his footy to start 2018, but after returning home, linking with Nyngan and then helping the Tigers into the Group 11 top five for the first time this season, Merritt is confident the black and golds can push for the title.
And that assault on the 2018 crown starts on Sunday against a lot of familiar faces.
Merritt left Macquaire to link with the Bathurst club during the 2018 off season, and lines up against the club he forged his name with for the first time in a couple of seasons at Apex Oval this weekend.
“I’m just taking it as another game, really,” Merritt said.
“But we want to win this weekend and hopefully string a couple of wins together coming into finals.
“I believe we can (win the title). I think we can go all the way. We’ve got a good squad with everyone on deck.”
Going away has refreshed me.Nyngan Tiger Josh Merritt.
Merritt’s been embraced by the Tigers faithful since joining the club in June and with six tries and 27 goals in just five games, the enigmatic No.7 has given them plenty to cheer about.
His season tally of 78 points is already higher than his 2017 total with Macquarie and Merritt revealed his keen to stay a Tiger in 2019, despite interest from a host of other Group 11 clubs ahead of next season.
“Going away for a bit has refreshed me,” he said.
“I think Group 11 style suits me much better than Group 10. It’s more defensive down there and I’m a bit of an attacker.
“It’s worked well coming to Nyngan … I never thought I’d end up out there but the club’s great, they’re all good people and they’re doing the right thing by me and I want to return the favour with my best footy.
“I’ve been thinking about (2019). Everything is going well and hopefully I can stay here.”