There may be one round still remaining in Group 11 this year, but the Nyngan Tigers are already looking at season 2019.
The Tigers won’t feature in the finals this season after being beaten by Forbes on Sunday and captain-coach Jacob Neill was honest post-game at Larkin Oval, stating his side didn’t deserve to be there.
After the highs of a brilliant run to last season’s grand final, this year has been a battle for the Tigers. After struggling to adequately replace captain-coach Stewart Mills with a marquee name, Neill has give the job and he has had to battle with only a handful of players regularly turning up to training each week.
But the club stalwart is adamant the Tigers can be at the top again, as long as everyone in the club is willing to put in the work.
“We’ve had a couple of good years and it all looks good but it’s hard work and that’s the reality we face,” he said.
“We’re up against big towns and pig populations but that’s what makes this place special. You can compete and take on those teams and we’re going to be at it over the off-season and we’re going hard at a couple of guys we’ve laid eyes on.”
One of the players likely to be back in Tigers colours next season is Reece Goldsmith.
The former Western Rams hooker played a massive role in the Tigers’ run to the decider last year but only featured once this season due to the fact he lives close to Sydney.
Goldsmith was back at Larkin Oval as a spectator on Sunday to watch the current side in action.
“I think it hurt him to see how we were,” Neill said.
“He came to training on Friday night and he saw what the club’s going through.”
While the result was far from perfect on Sunday, the Nyngan club was still immensely proud to hold its first ladies’ day.
The Tigers wore special pink jerseys which were then raffled off after the match, while prior to the game a list of all the women who have played a role in the club was read out.
“It’s the first time we’ve done something like this and it’s really good recognition,” Neill said, singling out the effort of club secretary Tara McDermott.
“The ladies play a really big role in our club and we’ve got one, in particular, who’s on the committee and she’s the backbone of the club. We’d be lost without her.
“No one knows how to use a computer in the committee and we all just run around. She does a really good job and there’s so many others who work in the canteen and do other jobs like that.
“We’re starting to recognise that and it’s really good to see. No ladies paid to get in today, what other club in the competition does that? That’s Nyngan. We’re a great place, a good club and we’ll be striving to be better.”
The jersey auction after the game raised $5000.
The Tigers travel to Dubbo in the final round of the season to take on minor premiers and rivals, CYMS.