Sport

Big Blue returns to Tonny Town

By Andrew Johnston

WHEN Jack Monigatti departed Tongala, he was the reigning best and fairest of a struggling Blues line up.

Now, with Tongala is coming off one of the best turnaround seasons in Murray League history - after going from five wins in 2018 to a grand final in 2019 - they're about to get their ace back.

Monigatti will headline the Blues recruiting class of 2020, returning to the Tongala Recreation Reserve following a two-year stint with the NT Thunder in the NEAFL and an extended term with the Tiwi Bombers in the NTFL.

Monigatti said he was excited to be returning.

“I'm really looking forward to getting back,” he said.

“I've loved watching from afar across the past two seasons at what this group has been able to accomplish. We've made so much progress as a club, and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to contribute.

“I've been lucky enough to meet up with a few of the guys that I haven't played with before recently, so I'm starting to get myself used to the group.”

Monigatti said the desire to play with mates had motivated him to once again pull on the navy blue.

“I've really enjoyed the experience of playing with the Thunder in the past two seasons,” he said.

“But I'm at a point where I want to play with my friends again. I have a lot of friends and family who are still around the club, so getting to come home and see them every week is something I'm pretty excited for.”

Monigatti will remain based in the Northern Territory, making the trip back for games.

Though his experience with the Thunder will make the travel a bit more bearable.

“Being NT based in the NEAFL we had to do a lot of travel,” he said.

“You're on the road a lot, so I know how to prepare myself and recover from the trips. It's a challenge, but I'm looking forward to what it has to offer as I return to the club.”

Monigatti will not be the only new face at Tongala in 2020. He will also be joined by former Thunder teammate and Nightcliff Tigers (Northern Territory Football League) player Kaine Riley.

The Blues also regain Shannon Tucker after a three-year stint coaching Girgarre in the Kyabram District League.