Luke Branighan signs on as captain-coach of Canowindra Tigers for 2020 Woodbridge Cup

KICKING ON: Luke Branighan has signed with Canowindra to coach for the 2020 Woodbridge Cup season, linking with Dean Murray to mentor the Tigers. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
KICKING ON: Luke Branighan has signed with Canowindra to coach for the 2020 Woodbridge Cup season, linking with Dean Murray to mentor the Tigers. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

Luke Branighan has linked with Canowindra for the 2020 Woodbridge Cup, the former Young, Oberon and Bathurst St Pat's coach signing a one-year deal with the club likely to be his last contract.

The 38-year-old will link with good mate Dean Murray to coach the black and golds in the club's centenary year.

Branighan said being part of a small-town club for such a special season is a privilege and was confident he'd help steer the Tigers towards the title.

The club finished fifth this year and Branighan was enthused by the quality locals on the club's books heading into 2020.

But the former NRL half remained coy about further additions at Tom Clyburn Oval.

"A few of my good mates might follow me to the club," he said.

ON FIRE: Canowindra's Regan Hughes is always a threat with the ball for the Tigers. Photo: RS WILLIAMS

ON FIRE: Canowindra's Regan Hughes is always a threat with the ball for the Tigers. Photo: RS WILLIAMS

"The legs don't move like they used to but I know I can push a side around the park. I look forward to playing with the local boys."

Canowindra hasn't won a premiership since knocking off Grenfell 30-24 in 1995.

Branighan said the challenge of returning the club to the top of the Woodbridge Cup was also an attractive proposition.

"Most of my captain-coach gigs in the bush, I've signed at clubs for the challenge," he said.

It's going to be a new competition for me, it's not going to be easy. I've got to prove myself again.

New Canowindra captain-coach Luke Branighan

"The fact Canowindra hasn't won a Woodbridge Cup for 25 years, I look at that as a challenge and being their 100th year it's a privilege to be part of that.

"I just want to enjoy my last season."

The addition of Branighan is a coup for the Tigers and the Woodbridge Cup, the small-town premiership building year on year.

Branighan said he was looking forward to the competition, and taking on a couple of old adversaries.

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"I used to play against Adam Hall, he's a mate of mine, I've seen what he's done for that comp and the interest he's brought to it," Branighan said.

"(Simon) Osborne's been there (at Manildra) the last couple of years and Josh Bateman (at Grenfell) has played for a while too.

"It's going to be a new competition for me, it's not going to be easy. I've got to prove myself again."

The 2019 Woodbridge Cup grand final will be at Trundle on Sunday, the Boomers taking on Manildra.