Macquarie Raiders have missed out on securing Farren Lamb for their own, with the Oberon Tigers hoping the group 11 title-winning player can take them to a premiership of their own instead.
While he was flagged to sign with Dubbo Macquarie earlier in the season, the deal was never finalised, and instead the Tigers added the Forbes Magpies grand final star to their ranks for the 2019 Group 10 premier league season.
Lamb was a highly sought after man after nailing the winning field goal in Forbes’ grand final win over the previously unbeaten Dubbo CYMS.
The teenager has been on the radar of Tigers coach Josh Starling over the past few years.
The Tigers mentor was excited to see the playmaker become available at the end of last season and worked hard to land the young prospect, who can fill a number of roles in the backs.
“He’s a quality, young player who’s keen to learn and keen to test himself,” he said.
“That’s hard to find in a 19-year-old. We’re really looking forward to working with him.
“He’d like to play in the halves but, like everyone I’ve spoken to who is playing in this team, he’ll be played where he fits best in the team. No one has a walk up start, myself included.”
Initial reports in November stated Lamb had agreed to a move with the Macquarie Raiders but the deal was never formalised.
With a move to Bathurst he became a top target for Oberon and their new player-coach Starling.
“I knew of him when I worked with a lady called Amanda Cheal, who worked for the PCYCs in Lightning Ridge and Walgett, and she told me about him probably five years ago,” Starling said.
Lamb is the third big off-season signing for the club following the signatures of Matt Ranse (Blackheath Blackcats) and Richard Peckham (Wellington Cowboys).
There’s big shoes for the signings to fill.
Former coach Luke Branighan and Mickey Hawkings have joined St Pat’s, Ben McAlpine is returning to Orange CYMS and Tui Oloapu is off to Lithgow Workies.
In the eyes of Starling the vibe around the Tigers camp is looking positive as the new year dawns.
“A few boys wanted to do some training before Christmas so I went to help them blow the cobwebs out before we get back into full training mid-January,” Starling said.
“Everyone’s keen this year and that makes my job a whole lot easier when you’ve got players who want to be there.”