Blayney president Damon Taylor believes the "resilient" Bears are better equipped than most to roll with the punches, and they'll have to be to handle the latest blow in the lead-up to the 2020 Group 10 season.
Big name off-season signing Siosaia Vave has allegedly not been seen in Blayney since collecting his sign-on bonus, and has failed to answer or return any phone calls from the Bears' committee since Christmas.
The club went public with their dismay on Sunday night, Vave's disappearing act first outed in the Sydney press.
Vave then reemerged on Monday, calling the Bears to express his desire to appear with the club still, but Taylor said the former Parramatta, Manly and Cronulla prop "won't be playing" in Blayney this season.
Taylor said the alarm bells began ringing when Vave's old club, St Mary's, wouldn't release the former NRL player after he was involved in an undisclosed matter with the western Sydney club.
He came out to our presentation night and was charming as hell and we thought we'd hit the jackpotBears president Damon Taylor
The Bears boss was hopeful of having the sign-on bonus returned.
Vave landed at Blayney in late September, the club striking the first blow in the Group 10 off-season as it looked to put a winless 2019 behind them.
The Central Western Daily attempted to contact Vave but those attempts were unsuccessful.
"He came out to our presentation night and was charming as hell and we thought we'd hit the jackpot," Taylor said.
"We're not the only club that gets caught like this, but for us coming off a few tough years it hits hard.
"We've been a club that's rolled with a few punches the last couple of years. We're resilient. There's still plenty of optimism around the club."
That optimism would stem from news the club is close to signing a replacement for Vave in the coming week, and Taylor confirmed the Bears haven't sat on their hands in the last five weeks.
While the club announced Mick Nixon as its 2020 coach a fortnight ago.
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