The 2021 season is shaping up to be a special one for the Eugowra Golden Eagles.
The club will celebrate its centenary of rugby league in Eugowra and will do so by aiming to win the Woodbridge Cup after the competition was forced into hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Captain-coach Brad McMillan is excited be "coming home" for the campaign.
"I always knew at some point that I wanted to come home and play for Eugowra and with the centenary on this year it was just perfect timing," McMillan said.
"My brother has moved back from Yamba to work in Orange and will play and my oldest brother will make a few cameos during the season even though he hasn't played in eight years or so.
"We've never been able to play a game all together so that will be a special experience for us; my Dad played in the 1960's and won a few comps so it will be great to represent the family."
The club is now in its third week of training, and with the impressive numbers turning up you really get the sense there is a special buzz around the club - and McMillan describes the Golden Eagles as a very special club to be a part of.
It's just a really enjoyable place to play footy.Eugowra coach Brad McMillian ahead of the new Woodbridge Cup season
"It's just a really enjoyable place to play footy; the locals really get around us and treat the boys like royalty - it's fantastic," he said.
He has been spending a lot of time trying to hone the side's defence, which he believes is critical to success.
"I'm a big believer in the fact that defence wins premierships and I want that to be our trademark," he said.
"Every time someone plays us, I want them to come off the field and go 'wow that was a tough game' - I want sides to know they are in for a real fight when they play us."
When it comes to his expectations about the coming season, McMillan is bullish on what he deems a pass mark.
"In country footy, any season you don't win the premiership is not a successful season," he said.
"The NRL sides who go through these long rebuilds pour millions into their club; and in bush footy you really need to be constantly searching for success to both attract and retain players in my eyes."
The club will play in a special heritage jersey all year, and the highlight, as always, will be the Old Boys day when the side will take on Canowindra - a day that will take on even greater meaning as the club celebrates 100 years.
The centenary season will kick off on April 10 when the Golden Eagles take on the Trundle Boomers.
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