Alex Said has been playing Premier League Hockey at Orange for almost two decades but didn't shy away from admitting that the men's competition is somewhat' dwindling' ahead of the returning season.
While the women's campaign pressed on in 2020, the boys had to put their tournament on ice for the winter but will return this Saturday for a four-team competition.
Said is stoked to get back onto the field with the Wanderers, but spoke about the lack of numbers not just at Orange, but league-wide.
"Everyone is keen to get back out there but the numbers we've got probably aren't what we'd like," Said said.
"You'd normally want around that 24-25 mark but we've only got 16-18.
"The league has changed a lot over the years. Dubbo used to have a team, Lithgow used to have two. It's an expensive sport to play and takes up a lot of your time.
"Kids these days are picking other sports and there aren't as many juniors coming up as we'd like."
Orange will host Lithgow Panthers for its season-opening clash on Saturday and Said knows the away side will pack a punch this winter.
"I think St Pat's will be the benchmark side but I expect Lithgow to be right there with them," he said.
"Lithgow is an amalgamated side and the two teams didn't necessarily get along but there's a decent base there, so they should be solid."
Wanderers can't spend too much time focusing on their opposition and Said spoke about what brand of hockey his troops will look to play in 2021.
"We want to have a free-flowing style," he said.
"The lead-up to the season hasn't been ideal with a lot of us not knowing what was happening, hopefully that doesn't lead to a slow start for us.
"With a four-team competition, as long as you come good at the end you'll usually be OK."
Lithgow gun Nic Milne is an Orange local, but has been playing with Panthers in recent seasons and expects his troops to be at the pointy end of the table this season.
"I'd like to think we'll be playing in the grand final at the end of the year," Milne said.
"With the two teams combining, there's a lot of quality players in the one team. And, there's some guys who usually play in Sydney who are staying at Lithgow this year."
Milne admits the Zig Zags and Panthers had come to blows on the field over the last decade but now that they're as one, there aren't any issues.
"There's always a rivalry between local clubs... it's the same as every sport," he said.
"Off the field we're all mates. We've gone away together to reps as one unit and after the games, we'd always go and have a beer together."
Like Said, Milne spoke about the decline in numbers over the past decade but is adamant that the whole league has taken a step in the right direction.
"It would be good to get the numbers back up," he said.
"Whether it's going to happen, I don't know. But, we're playing again this year so hopefully we can get some more sides playing next year." Saturday's game starts at 1.55pm.
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