ORANGE CYMS will enter this weekend’s West Wyalong knockout with possibly the club’s best chance at winning the title in four attempts, but injured captain-coach Mick Sullivan insists there’s no pressure on his men to come away with the cash.
First prize for this year’s victors has been bumped up to $8500 and after making it very public he wanted CYMS to win the crown in 2013, this year’s campaign is a little more low key.
Drawn a round one bye on Friday night that ensures the reigning Group 10 premiers progress straight through to sudden-death footy on Saturday, Sullivan said a “casual” approach would define CYMS’ 2014 tilt at the knockout.
“Our build up has been a bit more casual this year,” he said.
CYMS bowed out of the 2013 knockout in the first round after initially being instilled as the early favourites.
The green and golds lost 12-4 to Group 20 outfit the Bidgee Hurricanes.
“We haven’t started (pre-season) as early and going into Saturday we’ll only have two ball work sessions,” Sullivan continued.
“I suppose the advantage of playing on the Friday night is you go into the Saturday with a run under your belt, but I’d rather go into the second day fresh.
“We’ll certainly be throwing our hat in the ring but we’re just taking it game by game.
“There’s no pressure to win it.”
Making the trip to West Wyalong for the first time in Sullivan’s tenure at the club in 2011, CYMS finished runners-up to Leeton following a dramatic, extra-time final loss.
The following year CYMS lost to the hosts, the Mallee Men, on a countback in the quarter-finals.
This year will be the club’s fourth crack at the $13,000 knockout.
Nursing a reconstructed knee that’ll see him miss most of the upcoming Group 10 season, Sullivan will make the trip to West Wyalong without star backs Tim Bassmann and Dom Maley, while prop Des Knight won’t play either.
Adding strength and firepower, Ben McAlpine, Kyran Bubb, Riley Law and Ben Gosper will line-up in the club’s first pre-season hit out while new recruits Dan Stuart and Dylan Sharp could be unveiled.
In total, 13 sides will contest this year’s West Wyalong knockout with Blayney and Cowra completing the Group 10 contingent.
Blayney has been drawn the Mallee Men at 8.05pm on Friday night while Cowra takes on Tullibigeal Lakes United at 7.25pm.
CYMS play the winner of Temora and Yenda on Saturday at 5.40pm.