Josh Nagle has returned to the South Grafton Rebels to lead the side's reserve grade outfit.
Josh Nagle has returned to the South Grafton Rebels to lead the side's reserve grade outfit. Matthew Elkerton

BACK TO HIS ROOTS: Nagle ready to lead Rebels reggies

RUGBY LEAGUE: A chance to reconnect with his family and return to his roots has spurred Grafton High teacher Josh Nagle to strap on the boots for the South Grafton Rebels next season.

Nagle, who played all of his junior football in the red and white will take over as captain-coach of the Rebels reserve grade outfit.

It will give Nagle a chance to link up with nephews Zac and Brodie Nagle, who are expected to spearhead the Rebels reserve grade outfit next season.

It will be a change of scenery for Nagle after he played in the Grafton Redmen top grade side last season. Before that he had a successful run with the Grafton Ghosts having linked up with the club when the Rebels originally folded back in the early 2000s.

He played first grade and reserve grade with the Ghosts, winning back-to-back Group 2 reserve grade premierships in 2014-15 and then captain-coached the side to the semi-finals in 2016 and making the final in 2017.

"I have played against a lot of the Rebels boys over the past few years so I know the club pretty well,” he said.

"I was thinking about having another run with the Redmen boys, I loved my time with the club, but (Rebels president) Brendan Breitnauer got in touch with me and gave me the opportunity.

"It is also a chance to play football with my nephews and that is something very special to me. I got the chance to play against Zac a couple of years ago, but to play with them will be great.”

A self-confessed 'fitness freak', Nagle is expected to bring a high-intensity approach to his coaching, with the Rebels boys expected to be "whipped into shape” pretty quickly.

The Rebels returned to the paddock for pre-season earlier this week, and Nagle said it gave a good opportunity to connect with newly-appointed first grade coach Craig Youngjohns.

"I actually had a good chat with Craig and with (under-18s coach) Ron Gordon, and I think we are definitely all on the same page,” he said.

"We want to make sure we have the same training regime and game plan going into all three grades to make sure the club is aligned.

"IT is something we instilled at the Ghosts under Ben McLennan and Danny Wicks , and it is something that made the club work.

"Rugby league is a simple game, there is no point overcomplicating it by trying to do your own things.”