As a club legend, former co-coach, and member of the 2012 NEAFL premiership winning Queanbeyan Tigers outfit, Josh Bryce was always going to find a departure from the club difficult.
But following the Tigers’ withdrawal from the NEAFL at the close of the 2014 season, Bryce made a “family-first” call and returned home to the NSW Riverina in order to spend a season playing alongside his cousins with the Jerilderie Demons.
“It could be the only chance I get to go back and play with them, so I have to make the most of it,” Bryce told the Queanbeyan Age at the time.
But having purchased a home in the city, coupled with the success of his landscaping business, the footballers return was imminent and prior to his departure he pledged his ongoing support to the club.
"I haven't signed anything, but it's pretty much locked in that I'll be coming back to 'Tigerland'. With my business going well, I'll be in Queanbeyan for a long time yet," he said.
Returning home to Jerilderie, Bryce and the Demons had a main goal and it was to bring home a premiership. Unfortunately, the team fell in the final match of the season but Bryce enjoyed the opportunity to play in a grand final with six of his relatives.
“It was a bit of a testy year commuting back home to play footy, whilst running my business in Canberra,” he said.
“But it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, where I could get all my cousins, my mates and everyone I grew up with, playing together,” he said.
In 2016, Bryce has returned to the Tigers changerooms, being revealed to be a man of his word and the landscaper says that he has plenty of things to be excited about upon his Queanbeyan homecoming.
“I’ve loved it ever since I walked into the Tigers, just the club and it’s culture,” he said.
“The people that are around are great, and I’ve got some really good mates within the club and amongst the support staff. It’s always been really good.”