Byatt building a formidable Thunder

Robbie Byatt.

Robbie Byatt will have every chance to lead the Albury Thunder out of the Group 9 doldrums in 2022, with the club making several key signings in recent weeks. 

On top of pinching front rower Matthew Byatt from Tumut, the Albury Thunder have signed Paul Karaitiana.

The former Keebra Park High School talent was in the Canterbury Bulldogs system before making the move to the Thunder. 

Albury also signed Jackins Olam, the older brother of Melbourne Storm star PNG player, Justin Olam. 

The former Newtown Jet will no doubt add some class to an Albury outfit that could be hard to topple in 2022. 

Robbie Byatt, a proud Tumbarumba product and former Green, was pleased with how his side was coming together ahead of his first year at the helm of the border club, and he hinted the Thunder would likely make more announcements shortly. 

“It’s coming together really good and obviously we have made a couple of good signings and hopefully we can release a few more very soon,” Byatt said.

“It’s really exciting at the moment. We have good numbers at training and the group is feeling really good.” 

Playing Group 9 finals rugby league is at the top of Byatt’s Albury agenda.

“That’s the plan. Obviously, the last couple of years have been tough, but we are rebuilding and we want to play finals footy and the team we have now will get us going in the right direction,” Byatt said.

The Albury coach didn’t believe the Player point’s Index System (PPIS), which only allows Group 9 clubs to spend 100 points on players in first-grade, would impact his plans.

“I think we are pretty right,” Byatt said.

“The higher points only apply if you get players from the same competition, but with most of our singings coming from outside of Group 9, we are okay,” Byatt said.

“It is something we will need to sit down and look at each week, but for the moment, it all looks okay.”