ALBURY Thunder halfback Matt Rose will play his final match at Greenfield Park on Saturday night.
In a stinging blow on the eve of the Group 9 rugby league season, Rose will move to Sydney next month to pursue further work opportunities.
Rose said yesterday he was desperate to go out a winner in the Indigenous-Maori All-Stars clash against the Group 9 All-Stars this weekend.
“It’s tough,” Rose said.
“In country footy, I haven’t played with or against a better team than we had last year.
“The calibre of players across the board was incredible.
“You had the locals like Huggy (Jon Huggett) and Mosbey (Chris) and then people like Lou Goodwin and Benny (Jeffery) gave it a really good mix.
“I think Albury can be dominant for another five or six years if they can maintain what they have going at the moment.
“It’s hard to leave that behind.”
Rose, who joined Albury last year from the Lithgow Workies in Group 10, said he planned to continue playing, with Bathurst shaping as one of the most likely destinations.
Coach Josh Cale said Rose had been a huge asset in his 12 months at Greenfield Park.
“He brought a lot of experience to the table and played a big role in our side last year,” Cale said.
“Matty was definitely a factor in us going through and dropping only one game for the season.
“We’ll miss him for sure.”
Albury Thunder has kept its losses to a minimum over the off-season with centre Brett Biles and forward Ben Ryan the only other confirmed departures.
Rose expects a tight tussle between the Indigenous-Maori All-Stars and Group 9 All-Stars with both teams to be announced today.
“I think both sides are going to be strong,” he said.
“A lot of good players will be playing.”
Curtain-raisers will start at 2pm with the main match scheduled for 7pm.