FOR gun Orange CYMS backrower Pat Galea, a move to the green and golds for the 2014 Group 10 season is as much about family as it is about claiming a top flight premiership.
Currently living in Penrith, Galea spent the 2013 pre-season with the Canberra Raiders full-time squad and played the entirety of last season on the cusp of selection in the green machine’s NRL outfit in the club’s feeder system at Mount Pritchard.
But a decision to give footy away landed the big backrower on CYMS’ doorstep.
“My missus’ family is from Orange. I stopped playing footy in Sydney, but when I found out about Orange (CYMS) I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and see the family and play a bit of footy as well,” Galea said.
“I’m loving it. It’s tougher than I thought it would be but I’m not as fit as I’d like to be yet.
“I’m getting better with each game.”
And Galea is hoping that improvement is evident tomorrow against Bathurst St Pat’s.
Both CYMS (12 points) and St Pat’s (12) shape as the two main challengers to Mudgee’s (16) dominance on this year’s premiership race, and whoever comes out on top in Sunday's clash at Wade Park will remain in the hunt for an unlikely minor premiership, or at the very least a top two finish.
Desperate to avoid three consecutive defeats for the first time in coach Michael Sullivan’s tenure at the club, Galea said the return of a few key players will assist CYMS in its bid to bounce back.
“We’ve been down a few players the last couple of weeks and those key guys are only just coming back now,” he said, five-eighth Ben McAlpine the most notable inclusion.
“I think we’ve been good in patches but we’ve not been able to put it together for 80 minutes yet.
“We’ve never given up though, with a few key guys coming back into the team ... Mick Sullivan has only played one game so in the next couple of weeks he’ll start to hit his straps and be one of our best.”
The 28-year-old was confident the club has what it takes to win another title.
“That’s why I’ve come to CYMS. They’ve been very successful over the past couple of years and I want to win the competition,” he said.
In just his second run-on since returning from a lay-off with a reconstructed left knee, Sullivan says he’s keen to avoid a third straight loss tomorrow against St Pat’s.
“I can’t remember the last time we were in this position,” Sullivan said staring at three consecutive losses.
“Mac (McAlpine) and I are back in the pivots and at training the other night it felt pretty comfortable.”
CYMS tackle St Pat’s from 2.15pm.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Tim Bassmann, 2 Semisi Katoa, 3 Scott Piper, 4 Kyran Bubb, 5 Jarrod Robbins, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Mick Sullivan, 8 Zac Bohan, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Brent Colley, 11 Pat Galea, 12 Riley Law, 13 Ben Gosper; Bench: 14 Luke Morris, 15 Cam Jones.