A stalwart of the Orange club, Jared Brodrick admitted leaving Hawks was a tough call but said knowing the two blues are in good hands made his decision to move west and lead the Cargo's 2020 Woodbridge Cup charge slightly easier.
A former Group 10 premier league captain-coach, Brodrick has a long and storied history with the two blues and was at the helm of Hawks' under-18 side this year, an outfit he also coached to the 2014 premiership.
Knowing the 'right person' was in charge to lead the burgeoning two blues' campaign and development was a box that needed to be ticked for Brodrick before joining the Blue Heelers, and he's confident Jake Blimka will do so with aplomb.
It was tough to leave Hawks in general, it was a difficult decision to make.New Cargo captain-coach Jared Brodrick
"It usually takes a year or two to get those under 18s to where you want them to be and they're a good bunch so knowing they were in good hands was important," Brodrick said, his side finishing sixth in 2019.
"Jakey Blimka's got the nod there and he'll have a bit of help from Matty Boss as well I think, so I'm sure they'll do a good job.
"It was tough to leave Hawks in general, it was a difficult decision to make with [premier league] going so well too, we were probably the best side this year but didn't quite get there obviously."
Brodrick featured heavily in Hawks' first top-flight minor title win since 2013, the two blues eventually went on to suffer a gutting, preliminary final defeat to the Mudgee Dragons.
Even with Willie Heta scheming and signing in the hope to go one, and then two, steps further in 2020 Brodrick said the chance to link with family at the Blue Heelers was an exciting prospect, one he's looking forward to.
"I've got cousins out there, Matty Watson's a Cargo stalwart and we thought we'd try and link up before we all hang the boots up, it'll be good to have a run around together," Brodrick said.
"I haven't been in [the captain-coach] role for a years now but it'll be good to lead another top side around. I think most of the 2019 group is sticking around but, honestly, we probably won't really know what we've got until much closer to round one.
"(Former Hawks hooker) Liam (Brodrick) will come out with me I think and we'll probably try and look to pick up a few more players here and there, but we're just trying to generate a bit of interest now.
"It's a long way out so I wouldn't want to set too big a goal, but Cargo weren't far off this year so I think I'd say we'll just look at making the finals first and going from there.
"I'm looking forward to it."
The Blue Heelers finished seventh in 2019, winning six of their 16 games and eventually finishing six points adrift of the finals frame.
Across the Woodbridge Cup the Canowindra Tigers have spent the off-season making big moves although Dallas Booth has returned to Oberon, while there could be a potential shake-up at Manildra on the cards too.
Premiership-winning CYMS half Luke Petrie has reportedly linked with the Rhinos, with the club also advertising for captain-coach applications, although it remains unconfirmed whether Group 10 legend Simon Osborne will throw his hat in the ring to continue his tenure.
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