He admits "there's nothing quite like winning a Group 10 premier league title", but Barbarians captain-coach Ben Gosper said he'd rank hoisting the New Era Cup right up there alongside the premierships he helped inspire Orange CYMS to some years ago.
Those titles came in 2010 and 2011, the early days of the glittering era of Mick Sullivan, and Gosper captained CYMS to the 2012 premier league grand final as well, although they were dusted by Lithgow Workies that day.
But a premiership had eluded the rock-solid lock since he linked with Barbarians in 2015, in fact they've not been able to make a much-coveted grand final appearance in that period either.
Because I'm coaching here a premiership, well, it'd be right up there I think.Barbarians co-player-coach Ben Gosper
Gosper and his troops will front for the club's maiden decider appearance at Bathurst's Diggings Oval on Saturday afternoon, where they'll take on CSU, and he said a title would cap off his time in charge of the club.
"It definitely would, yeah, it'd be great. When [Barbarians president Paul Rudd] called me to try and get me across initially the two things we said we want to develop the club and we want to win a premiership," Gosper said.
"We've certainly gone through a lot of development in the last couple of years. Looking at it, when I first came across we didn't have a huge number of players but we've had to leave people out for this grand final.
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"That's tough, but those guys took it really well and they've all played a role in getting us here. They'll do that again on Saturday, they'll all be there helping out.
"I think this is our best chance since I've here to win a premiership too, so here's hoping we can get the job done. You know, there's nothing quite like winning a Group 10 premier league title but because I'm coaching here a premiership, well, it'd be right up there I think, especially doing it as a dual coach with [Mitch Britt].
"He's put a lot into the job as well and I'd love to win as much for him as anyone else."
Britt came on board to share the load with Gosper this year, which is also the club's 10th anniversary season, and their combination has worked a treat.
While Gosper said he was hopeful Barbarians were on track to make the grand final last year, injuries crushed those dreams. Gosper himself missed the finals with a broken thumb, and the side was bounced out in the preliminary final.
The side is full strength this weekend though, with both Ed Morrish and Jordan Clark shaking off niggles that threatened to sideline them for the big dance.
"They're both good to go, which is great," Gosper said.
"Obviously being hurt last year was pretty frustrating and we had a lot of injuries that hurt. Like I said at the start of the year keeping everyone fit was a priority this season and we've done that. The depth we've had played a big role in that, because we've been able to rest players when we needed to."
After having points stripped earlier this season thanks to an administration error Barbarians won through to the decider by hammering Lithgow and Portland in elimination finals, but Gosper said CSU are a completely different kettle of fish.
"They're young, they're quick and they're fit, it's been said a lot before but they're an 80-minute side so we have to knuckle down, we can't fall asleep at all," he said.
"They've got a lot of good players who we've all spoken about before but I actually think their young hooker, Callum Flanagan, is a big danger for them.
"He has been every other time we've played them, he's nippy around the ruck and with good players taking attention he's scored a couple of tries every time we've played them this year, so we can't get lazy around the ruck.
"Our middle has always been our strength, we've got some big forwards who can get a big roll on and I think if it's wet that might actually help our cause, but we need to be strong through their defensively.
"If we are and we get that roll on we'll make space for guys like Britty, Corey McLean, Ed and Grant Cock, and they'll do their thing with that space. That'll give us every chance."
Saturday's top grade grand final kicks off at 2.30pm, following the all-CSU league tag decider from 1.30pm.
- ORANGE BARBARIANS: 1 Grant Cock, 2 Brent Kuczinski, 3 Luke Coleman, 4 Ed Morrish, 5 Rob Carroll, 6 Mitchell Britt (c), 7 Corey McLean, 8 Lionel Vanderwal, 9 Jake Kelly, 10 Jo Pugh, 11 Michael Newman, 12 Jake Allen, 13 Ben Gosper (c); Bench: 14 Mitch Bollinger, 15 Hayden Whiteman, 16 Jordan Clark, 17 Cody Jarman, 18 Tim Holley, 19 Jarred Donlan, 20 Josh Standing, 21 Jack Braithwaite
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