ORANGE CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan said he’s looking forward to a tough start to the 2013 Group 10 season after the draw was released yesterday.
CYMS, who won the 2010 and 2011 premierships before losing last year’s grand final, will take on hometown rivals Orange Hawks in the season opener on April 7.
The following week CYMS will go up against perennial heavyweights Mudgee in Mudgee.
Sullivan said he couldn’t ask for a better challenge to start to season with.
“It’s best to have a tough start,” Sullivan said.
“It’s good to have benchmark teams early. You know where you’re at early in the season. If you get a couple of early wins it can set you up or if you lose you can be chasing.
“I like to play the hard teams first. If they’re preparation isn’t up to speed you can get the jump on them and get early points.”
At the other end of the season things could also be interesting for CYMS as they have a bye in premier league in the second last round with the Orange club going up against Blackheath.
The Black Cats will only be fielding sides in first division and under 18s in 2013.
In the final round CYMS will play a grand final rematch against Lithgow.
Sullivan said this would be a great challenge heading into the semi-finals but added the CYMS players weren’t getting ahead of themselves.
The CYMS captain-coach said starting the season with a local derby ensured plenty of interest early on.
“From what I hear they’ve recruited really well,” Sullivan said of Hawks.
“They’ve got TC and another big guy plus they’ve got Tim Mortimer coaching so they will be tough.”
Hawks captain-coach Mortimer said he’s also keen to take on CYMS in the first round.
“I’m very pleased with that. CYMS have been the benchmark for a while so it will be good to see where we’re at,” Mortimer said.
“After a long pre-season it will be good for me to see how we fare.”
Mortimer said he was happy with how the Hawks players were training early in the year.
He added new players were welcome at training on Mondays and Wednesday from 6pm at CSU Bathurst.