When Jared Brodrick signed as captain-coach of the Cargo Blue Heelers for the 2020 season, he probably didn't think he'd be competing for the inaugural Wallerawang Landscaping Cup less than 12 months later.
But after the Woodbridge Cup decided it wouldn't take the field this winter, that's the position the ex-Orange Hawk finds himself in.
Cargo was one of the four sides who pushed for the competition to go ahead this year and after having no luck in the July 15 meeting, the men in blue successfully put forward their bid to join the Mid-west cup.
"We're all pretty excited," Brodrick said.
"We did lose a few boys because they took up some extra work but there's still 15 Cargo boys keen to play, as well as a few others."
Those others Brodrick's talking about are an array of stragglers from surrounding Woodbridge Cup sides as Molong's Dan Madden is one of the ten-odd recruits the Heelers have made ahead of the July 18 kick-off.
"Our main priority was to use the guys we already had but we're happy to make up the numbers with some new guys," he said.
The Mid-west competition isn't regarded as the most talent-heavy in the region but that doesn't mean Brodrick's boys are getting complacent and he wants them to be sharp by the time the season rolls around.
"The big thing we spoke about was to not jump into the competition and be out of touch," he said.
"It's a second/third grade league so the standard suits us well and we're excited to have a crack at playing in a different comp.
"Some of the boys aren't too keen to play in the cold, though."
Brodrick hasn't rallied the troops to training yet but expects his side to be back on Cargo Oval in next week.
"A lot of the guys were under the impression that the season wasn't going to go ahead but we're keen to get back into it," he said.
Not only is the men's side set to mix it up in the Mid-west, so is the Blue Heelers' league tag outfit as the back-to-back premiers will shape as immediate contenders to dethrone CSU.
The Blue Heelers are set to play host to the Kandos Waratahs in the opening round of the Wallerawang Landscaping Cup on Saturday July 18.
The Waratahs will make their comeback into the competition after a year on the sidelines. Both the men's and the women's sides made the semi finals in 2018.
Joining Cargo on the contenders list is the Oberon Tigers as Dallas Booth's men have put together a strong list of players for the upcoming season, including former Bathurst St Pat's gun Jackson Brien.
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