Emus rugby wouldn't be where it's at today without the influence of Amanda Ferguson.
Not only has the club stalwart been with the women's program since its inception in 1999, she's been a vital cog behind the scenes for over two decades.
And even though every season brings Ferguson a certain level of excitement, there's something extra special about 2021.
This winter at Endeavor Oval, the Emus women's side will embark on its 20th year in the competition, a title race that's now named the Westfund Ferguson Cup.
The girls in green will bring back a host of old heads from previous seasons but what's got Ferguson up and about is the amount of fresh talent coming through the ranks this pre-season.
"There's been a massive growth spurt in regards to new players this season," Ferguson said.
"We could have as many as 18 new players in our women's side this year."
That growth has led to a host of women's players emerging from the Central West, such as Dubbo's Lilyann Mason-Spice who's currently linked with Australia's rugby program.
"There's so much talent coming out of the region and there's always new girls stepping up and having a go."
From the strong group of newcomers this year, Ferguson knows that many of them could turn into lifelong friends, something she's had the pleasure of making throughout her illustrious career.
"The friendships that I've formed over the last 20-odd years have been amazing," she said.
Ferguson has tasted premiership success half a dozen times since kicking off her career at Emus but it's been a long time between drinks for the club, the last breakthrough coming in 2015.
This season shapes as a perfect time to reign supreme again.
Emus will kick-off their campaign against 2020 champions Bathurst Bulldogs as the Ashwood Park natives upset Dubbo in the grand final last season, using what Ferguson described as a 'smart' gameplan.
Alex Walker will return as captain for the side with Ferguson taking on the vice captain role.
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