Our Mick Sullivan.
That’s how Mudgee Dragons president Sebastian Flack has described the signing of former Manly and Wests Tigers half Jack Littlejohn ahead of the 2019 Group 10 season.
Littlejohn has experience in the NRL and English Super League, where he played with the Salford Red Devils in 2018, and will take on the captain-coach role at the Dragons next season.
Sullivan was picked up by CYMS ahead of the 2010 season with similar credentials, and stayed at the Orange club for nigh on a decade, winning five premierships and guiding the green and golds to seven Group 10 grand finals.
And while Flack isn’t demanding similar sustained success out of the club’s newly appointed coach, he certainly thinks a player of the ilk of Littlejohn, 27, is capable of lifting the Dragons to the top of Group 10 in 2019.
“He’s going to be the best player in the comp … he will be the one to watch,” Flack said.
“He was a key player for NRL clubs so to say the other teams of the comp should be mindful of him is an understatement.”
Flack said the club has been working on signing a captain-coach since July, and “the best option came late”.
Littlejohn played 21 NRL games and 20 ESL games and played with the Sydney Roosters under 20s.
The Wagga native will don the Mudgee No.7 next season and Flack believes it’s the biggest signing Mudgee has made since 1986, when the club nabbed Ron Hilditch to play in the red and white.
In terms of singing anyone like this, we haven’t really done it before.Dragons president Sebastian Flack
Flack is confident Littlejohn’s presence will both a shake-up Group 10 and provide a lot of positives for his club.
“When you get someone with that sort of quality it can boost your chances of winning, moral and the overall attitude of the club,” he added.
“It’ll bring extra supporters, extra sponsors, extra players - it’s a big deal.”
The effect of Littlejohn has already started, with the Dragons’ squad up 13 players already on last year.
“The people who were sitting on the fence, that are good players, will come 110 per cent now,” Flack continued.
Bit of #Group10 news:— Nick McGrath (@nickmcgrath4) November 18, 2018
Mudgee has signed former @SeaEagles, @WestsTigers and @SalfordDevils half Jack Littlejohn as captain-coach in 2019.
The Wagga-born playmaker is only 27 and will give the Dragons a huge boost. Big one for the Red V.#bushfooty@WesternRamspic.twitter.com/V2lkh0kAsD
“(Jack's) in for the long haul. It’s stability, it’s a way forward. It’s a good fit for his family.”
The Flack-Littlejohn power couple now have their sights on the new season, with the aim to get the Dragons back playing finals footy after a disappointing seventh-place finish in 2018.
“We just want to be in the top three,” Flack said.