'Some players just love footy and need footy'.
Those were the words of a passionate Wallerawang Landscaping Cup president on Sunday as Dallas Booth staked claims for a sensible mix of Group 10 top graders in this year's Midwest cup competition.
And he's not just trying to push for players from Oberon to join his Tigers, he thinks all the sides would benefit from a healthy mix of top-flight talent, adding that the opportunity to play alongside the region's best players would be a once-in-a-career opportunity for some of the blokes who've never set foot out of the second-tier competition before.
Not only that, Booth thinks the spotlight placed on his tournament in 2020 will be an unprecedented one and that clubs should be trying to maximise the level of talent on their sides in order to get more fans at the grounds.
"A couple of those players on each team will make the games more compelling to come and watch," Booth said. "It gives lesser players a chance to develop alongside some really high-quality players."
It's a loaded topic to say the least and Group 10 officials are set to meet with each other on Wednesday to discuss the eligibility of players in the competition and no matter the outcome, Booth will support it.
"Whatever they decide on Wednesday, we're happy to abide by it... they will have their own ideas about everything and we'll conform to that," he said.
"We just want to get out there and play footy with our mates."
The rumour mill has been swirling in the last few weeks and Booth shot down speculation that a pair Oberon's first-graders from 2019 are signed on to play with the Tigers this winter."
"Neither Jackson Brien or Black Fitzpatrick have been cleared be New South Wales Rugby League to play with us this season," he said.
"Take Jackson for example... he lives in Oberon, he works in Oberon, he's played in Oberon his entire life... we don't one player who isn't from the town.
And those are the kinds of exceptions Booth's in favour for as he thinks sides would benefit from local talent during a time where plenty of clubs are struggling for numbers.
"A lot of sides have lost players throughout this COVID situation and I'll do what I can to help these teams out," he said.
"If that means everyone bringing in two or three ex-first graders, I think that could work. No one wants to bring in seven or eight first-graders... that's not the mentality."
There's also been discussion surrounding the negative impact that this sort of player migration could have on the longevity of the Mid-west competition, another claim that Booth addressed.
"Plenty of people are saying that first graders will come in and push all of the other players out and if you allow that to happen then you're not a good coach," he said.
The eligibility of 2019's Group 10 first-graders for the upcoming Wallerawang Landscaping Cup competition will likely be confirmed on Wednesday night.
After the withdrawal of Orange Raiders, the competition is set to feature seven teams which has caused Booth to throw away the eight-team draw they had pencilled in.
"We've got another one in the system and it'll be three home, three away and one bye for each team," he said.
"There was obviously a bit of a misunderstanding between the two teams at Orange but that's all it was."
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...