James Tuitahi won't forget the roller coaster that was 2023 in a hurry. From moving his young family from Sydney to the unknown of Nyngan and the excitement of a first captain-coaching role, to a torn pectoral muscle and then a finals appearance with the Tigers, it's certainly been memorable. But what stands out most to the former Manly under 20s player is the warmth and closeness of the Nyngan community that's welcomed him. Tuitahi knew nothing of Nyngan when he agreed to take on the top job at the Tigers, but it's a decision he's delighted to have made. "I love it out here actually," he said. "We've never experienced anything like it with the community. My family loves it here. "The biggest thing here that we notice is the community. We've never experienced that, even going overseas. "I think that's what makes it." The first year has been such a hit, there's no rush to leave. Tuitahi will stay on as captain-coach in 2024 and sticking around beyond that is also a possibility. As well as leading the Tigers, Tuitahi has also been working at The Fitshed gym and helping various members of the community as well as footy players. "I do see myself staying here for a couple of years," he said. "Mainly for the boys that are coming through. There's so many good players coming through. "I've seen a few 16-year-olds and I'm training a few of them at the gym now. "It shows the potential Nyngan does have and it's about having the right guys around them to guide them in the right direction." The development of a number of the club's younger players was one of the biggest highlights of the season for Nyngan. Cale Dunn was a destructive force whether he was in the centres or the back-row and was the second-leading try-scorer in the competition while Group 11 under 18s player of the year winner Fletcher Hunt also took to first grade with aplomb. Hunt was one of the stories of the year at the Tigers and his performances were rewarded with a Newcastle Knights contract and the versatile back will aim for a spot in the club's SG Ball side next year. "When I came out here my goal was to try and get players to go further," he said. "I got to play a little bit of a part in it with one of the young boys (Hunt) going to Newcastle. "That was a bonus." The year has been a huge learning experience for Tuitahi. While the long-term injury was a blow, the time on the sideline opened his eyes up to coaching and allowed the rookie mentor to gain another perspective. "And then I got a couple of games at the end (of the season) so I saw it from both perspectives and a learnt a lot from that," he said. "I'm looking forward to doing it again, this time with a few lessons I learnt. "I'm looking forward to what we had this season." The Tigers are currently in talks with some potential signings and locking in a number of 2023's best to go around again. Former NRL player and Samoan international Con Mika is a chance of staying at Larkin Oval while Tuitahi said outside of young gun Hunt there's no major departures at this point. The club will kick-off its pre-season in early January in the hope of improving on the 2023 result of being knocked out in week one of the finals. "It was our first season together. It was my first year and different players were in different roles," Tuitahi said. "We put something together but I just know the boys know that wasn't our potential. "We played well to just win games but there's so much more and that's what's exciting about this next coming season."