Jack Sullivan came to Lithgow in 2019 with a considerable reputation as a former Shute Shield player with West Harbour and Warringah while making rugby sevens appearances with NSW.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Now Sullivan's career will enter its next chapter as he takes on the co-coaching role of Lithgow Workies with Kyle Willmott after previous captain-coach Greg Alderson transferred to Emus Plains.
The Willmott name is one synonymous with rugby league in the Lithgow area with Corey previously coaching the Wolves and Kyle himself coaching Portland in the Mid-West Cup.
Sullivan said it was always going to best to take on the role as a duo in the Peter McDonald Premiership.
"We took over as interim coaches at first (when Greg Alderson departed) and we wanted to get the club going in the right direction and the opportunity came up to coach and I was talking to Kyle and thought it'd be best if we were co-coaching," he said.
The co-coaching partnership is off to a great start in the recruitment area too, with Workies making a number of signings this season.
For Sullivan, Willmott and the Lithgow committee, bringing club juniors back into the system has been a focal point and that's exactly what they've been able to achieve.
Keelan Bresac returned from Bathurst Panthers while Alderson was in charge, Jake Gale has come back to Workies after a stint with Mudgee Dragons while Dylan Miles is back with his junior club having played for Panthers last season.
Kevin, Lachlan and Thomas Large have also made the move from Panthers, previously played for Lithgow in juniors.
With such promising signs in the player movement market, Sullivan is optimistic about what's ahead.
"Jake (Gale) is a Lithgow junior and lives in town so it's good to get him back on board, we've lost a few over the years to other teams," he said.
"That's a big focus for us, retaining our juniors and developing them. Getting a few locals back is a big point for us, Lithgow has a really good junior base, connecting with them and nurturing them is going to be a big focus point in the next couple of years to bring back that strength.
"There's a lot of good young players coming through in 16s and 18s (so we have) to try and create a good environment to learn and get better for them."
Part of bringing the juniors back, is creating an identity all Lithgow players are familiar with.
That Lithgow identity is the one that became famous in a decade long era from 2005 to 2015 when Workies won three minor premierships, two premierships and finished runner-ups on five occasions.
It was an identity where the Wolves were near impossible to break down, with Tony Luchetti Sportsground considered a fortress.
"We're trying to bring back that hard Lithgow mentality, back to the days where Lithgow were feared and known as a tough team," Sullivan said.
"So we've been working on fitness and defence and the basics, hopefully we play off the back of that and bring back a bit of grunt.
"We've been trying to build the right foundations to move forward, getting the culture right off the field and at training and hopefully it correlates come game time."
As for Sullivan himself, injury last year meant he only appeared in 'one or two games'.
With the versatile half fully fit this season, he admitted the goal for his side will always be to make it to the business end of the season after it finished sixth in the Group 10 pool last year.
"You always want to start the year aiming high, we want to aim for finals this year," he said.
"It's a big step up but that's where we want to aim.
"We also just want to enjoy ourselves at the club, enjoy the footy and everything that comes with it."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.