Josh Daley: Meet York’s new Australian signing

Josh McAllister
Josh Daley

Picture by Alan Milner/milnerCreative.

His job, his family and maybe more heart-rending, his dog – those are just a few things Josh Daley has had to leave behind in Australia to pursue his rugby league dream with York in 2023.

The 26-year-old signed on the dotted line earlier in September, and linked up with his new team-mates later in January ahead of the new season on a two-year deal.

He had been plying his trade with the Mounties in the New South Wales Cup competition last season, making 20 appearances and scoring two tries. 

With Wests Devils, Western Suburbs Magpies and North Sydney Bears also listed on his previous clubs, Daley always wanted the opportunity to continue his career on the other side of the world. And when York came calling, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. 

Daley worked as a teacher back in Australia, and made the move to York with his partner, who left her job as a midwife to support his dreams of making it to the top one day. 

Josh Daley on York move

“Both me and my partner have come over. It’s always something I wanted to do,” Daley told Love Rugby League.

“It was just one of those things where I wasn’t sure when to do it. I probably would have done it a few years ago and then Covid hit. So it had to go on the back burner for a little bit. 

“But the opportunity arose and I jumped at it. I planted the seed early last year while at the Mounties and spoke with my agent.

“I have aspirations of NRL, but I said to my agent if nothing happens there, I really want to go overseas and explore the market over there and travel and play good footy while I can.

“My agent said there were some clubs keen to sign me and York was the best club to reach out.

“I watched a few of their games last year and I have a mate who played over here a few years ago; Kieren Moss. He told me a little bit about the club and gave me some history of it and it felt like the perfect timing.

“It’s a club going places.”

Andrew Henderson’s York

Daley made his debut from the bench in the opening round of the Championship campaign against Widnes – falling to a 19-12 home defeat.

However, Daley believes it’s an exciting new era under new boss Andrew Henderson – who left Keighley to return to coaching on a massive five-year deal with York.

“Hendo (Henderson) has been great,” Daley said.

“He’s so organised and he explains things really well. The kind of footy I want to play is the same kind he wants to play, so it’s going really well. 

“He’s been really good, especially for me. It’s early days, but it’s all looking good.”

Josh Daley looking forward to new life on and off the field

As a self-proclaimed history lover, Daley is also enjoying his new surroundings off the field in the historic city of York. And on the field, he was keeping an eye on his new team last year, following their progression all the way to the play-off semi-finals.

“I’m a bit of a history buff and a history nerd, so I like that side of things,” Daley said on York. “It’s a beautiful city.”

He continued: “Me and my own man are footy nerds, so we watched a fair bit of both Super League and Championship whenever we could.

“All the boys were super welcoming. It’s been really different to the systems I’ve been in where it can be a little bit clicky. But all the guys have made me feel really welcome and it’s been a pretty smooth transition for moving your entire life to the other side of the world.

“Personally, I already knew Bailey Antrobus, I actually played footy with his brother. I also know Jesse Dee, who has signed for this year. I grew up with him and played against him.

“Bailey gave me the hard sell and said it’s a great place.

“The club is working towards promotion to Super League and things like that and that’s obviously something I want to look towards.

“But to start the season well would be a really big goal for me and to gel with the boys and to be consistent.”

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