IN the past, Orange Hawks teams may have been a little guilty of getting caught up in the hype of a derby clash with rivals CYMS.
Even more so now the match is a regular round one fixture.
But, a month out from the opening match of the 2013 Group 10 season at Wade Park, forget the hype.
You can forget the rivalry.
This year, under new captain-coach Tim Mortimer, the two blues are concentrating on number one, and that’s not the green and golds anymore.
“They’re the benchmark of the competition and it’s going to be a big local derby but, to be honest, I haven’t really thought about that game yet,” Mortimer said.
“I’m just focused on us. I haven’t see any of our boys play yet. All positions are up for grabs at the moment and everyone is training like that. I’ve been really impressed.
“It’s really good for the club.”
Mortimer will likely get his first shot at selecting an initial Hawks line-up this weekend, with a last-minute trial in the works against Bathurst Panthers on Saturday.
After that, the Bathurst Knockout and a trial against the Coogee Dolphins will round out Hawks’ pre-season campaign.
Mortimer was keen to experiment a little position-wise.
“I’ll play a few guys in a few different positions. They might be positions some guys haven’t played before but I’ll be looking at what best suits the team,” the NSW Cup premiership winner with Wentworthville said.
“Hopefully we can find the right mix and hit the ground running for round one.”
Mortimer has been “impressed” by his side’s work at pre-season training, with nigh on 40 seniors at Charles Sturt University’s main oval for training throughout the course of the summer.
That number is set to jump again with touch football winding up last week.
Enthused by his side’s attitude on the training paddock, the first year coach is confident he has the right mix at his disposal to have a big year with the two blues.
“Just from training and the size of our team, I have fairly high expectations on the boys,” he said, adding fitness and combinations will play a big role in how Hawks fare.
“I’ve been out of Group 10 for a little while now so I’m not sure what the other sides are like, I’ll get a better indication on that after the Bathurst Knockout.”
The Group 10 season kicks off on Saturday, April 6.