WITH Mick Sullivan under considerable doubt to take his place in Orange CYMS’ grand final lineup on Sunday, no player in green and gold will assume more responsibility than former Country half Warick Colley.
There’s no player more qualified either.
Having recovered from a badly broken ankle suffered in a trial match in April, Colley has played a leading role in CYMS’ charge at a historic three-peat of Group 10 premier league crowns over the last month.
And on Sunday when Colley runs out with CYMS for the Group 10 grand final, it’ll be the maestro’s 10th decider since 2000.
It’s a remarkable feat - one unlikely to be matched by any player in Country Rugby League.
Colley, though, said the whole week has been a bit surreal, with the five-time Group 10 premiership winner still pinching himself after recovering from a snapped ankle that by rights should have ended his season.
“I thought my year was over,” Colley said.
“I didn’t expect to be back after breaking my ankle. I thought maybe if I did a go off the bench in the semi- finals might be it but with Mick [Sullivan] struggling a little bit as well it’s worked out a bit differently.
“I’m grateful the club and the team welcomed me back more than anything. All of the boys have been great and it’s given me the confidence to make that step back.
“Hopefully I can steer the side around the park.”
Colley has been named in the number seven for Sunday’s clash with minor premiers Lithgow.
Dom Maley will be his partner in the halves while Sullivan has named himself on the bench, with the former NRL rake set to give himself until the last minute to prove his fitness.
Colley said whether it was Sullivan or Maley he partnered in the halves on Sunday, Lithgow would enter the match as favourites.
“We’re coming off a really good win against St Pat’s but Lithgow are probably at another level so we’re not getting carried away with anything,” he said.
“Lithgow got the cash two weeks ago but I’m confident if we prepare well we can get the cash on Sunday.”
If CYMS can pull off a win, it’ll be one Colley will cherish after a horror year spent largely in the stands.
The 35-year-old is still yet to make up his mind on another year in 2013, but Colley said the fire to succeed still burned brightly.
The Group 10 grand final will be played at Tony Luchetti Sportsground at Lithgow on Sunday.