Monaghan no longer flying Thunder the radar
IT has been seven years in the making, but Joel Monaghan’s self-imposed exile is finally over.
Monaghan starred on debut for the Albury Thunder in Friday’s West Belconnen Warriors Nines tournament, scoring a double in a 12-4 win over Goulburn.
The former Kangaroos flyer hasn’t played in Australia since his infamous Mad Monday stunt forced him to quit Canberra and sign with English club Warrington.
Fittingly, Monaghan has reunited with his former Raiders teammate Adrian Purtell at the Thunder.
“The last time we played together was in Canberra in 2009, so it is very exciting,” Purtell said.
“It’s just great to have a player of Joel’s ability, plus he is a good bloke off the field as well.
“We lived together in England for the best part of two years and we’ve kept in contact ever since.
“It is always something I joked about to all my former teammates to play for Albury, so it’s good to see one return.”
Monaghan most likely won’t play every game for Albury during the Group 9 season due to work commitments in Melbourne.
But Purtell is remaining optimistic.
“Hopefully we can get Joel up to Albury for a few games,” he said.
“I’d love to have him for every game, but I understand that work will be the main priority for him now.
“We’ll just have to play it by ear. The first hurdle was to get him registered to play in the Nines and then we’ll just take the next step after that.
“Hopefully he enjoys himself this weekend and he wants to play a few more games.”