For Kurt Beahan, Orange United represents far more than a new football club.
The club, which has run netball and basketball sides for years, has opened a new frontier with a New Era Cup men's and league tag side for 2020, and Beahan - who's spearheading the movement on the field as inaugural captain-coach - is absolutely loving it.
The club is an Aboriginal affiliated club - as most Orange United ones are - and while it's open to non-Indegenous players, the most who've jumped onboard early are Aboriginal, and the sense of community has been strong around the fledgling club.
Three weeks into pre-season training, the side's increased numbers each week from 10 to 16 to 22, and is slowly building into what Beahan hopes becomes a juggernaut on and off the field.
"We're trying to get a lot of our community to stick together," he said.
"A lot of people are doing a lot of things here, there and everywhere and we're trying to use this to pull them together.
I've got two kids and want to give them some positive role models to grow up with instead of some of the negative stereotypes you see online.Orange United captain-coach Kurt Beahan
"We want our families, we want our kids, we want our community to be involved and be down at the games. I've got two kids and want to give them some positive role models to grow up with instead of some of the negative stereotypes you see online."
He said the opportunity to jump onboard was a "no-brainer" having been a strong part of the Aboriginal community for years.
"I'm already doing x amount of things in the community because of who I am as a person and saw this as another opportunity for our local aboriginal community," the former Orange CYMS, Group 11 and Trangie player said.
"I coached a lot of junior sides with CYMS and played football my whole life, again it was a no-brainer for me and I was happy to jump on-board and assist and hopefully we go really well."
United have several recognisable names as part of its maiden New Era Cup campaign, with former Wellington gun Chris Jones and CYMS' Jacob Sutherland both jumping onboard.
"Chrissy has turned a huge corner in his life and doing great things in the community and he's been one of the leaders at training, a lot of young fellas look up to him, his young fella's only just turned 18 and is playing as well," Beahan said.
"There is a good mix across the board, we were hoping to get a lot of young fellas in there and with the old blokes, even if we're not playing, around the boys around the club and at training to share knowledge and experience."
Beahan said the quality of the players had been "quite surprising" and while he said he didn't want to get too far ahead of himself, in the same breath had a bold prediction for the new side.
"The side we put together on paper was good and it's only week three, if we're not top four I'll be disappointed," he said.
He said the next step was reaching out and bringing as many as he could into the club, including anyone who'd played with the last Aboriginal-affiliated club in Orange in the mid-2000s, Orange Cougars, for supporters and potentially committee members.
Breahan's helped with the committee as well, including president Jason French, with the mountains of work needed behind the scenes to get the club off the ground.
Those interested in becoming a part of the club, head to the Orange United Facebook page.
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