In the lead-up to the first game of 2018, Jarryn Powyer was taking part in pre-season in the Illawarra.
He had made the move away from Dubbo and a CYMS club had helped win the Group 11 premiership just months earlier.
He now admits “it’s funny how things work out” after being named the new first grade captain-coach at the Fishies.
It was both work and footy reasons which saw Powyer return to Dubbo before playing a match in Wollongong.
After quickly reaffirming himself as a standout and leader within CYMS in 2018, the 25-year-old has stepped up to the top job following Tim Ryan’s decision to step aside from the coach’s role.
“Tim decided his time was at an end and he was going to have a break and we’re a pretty close bunch of blokes so we spoke about it and decided we wanted to keep the same values and look within,” Powyer said of the change.
“My name got tossed around a bit and after thinking about it I was happy to take it on.”
Powyer will be one of the youngest leaders in Group 11 in 2019 and even he admits he didn’t expect to be in a coaching role at this point in his career.
But that doesn't mean he isn’t ready, Powyer says he learnt a huge amount from Ryan while leadership is something he’s always strived to provide for his team.
Following an injury to CYMS stalwart Luke Jenkins early in the 2018 season, Powyer and Alex Ronayne shared the captaincy responsibilities for the rest of the year.
The pair almost led the side to one of its most successful seasons, having defeated the Guildford Owls in the Challenge Cup final, only to suffer a first defeat for the year in a Group 11 grand final clash with Forbes.
“I was looking forward to a leadership role but I definitely didn’t think it would come this soon,” Powyer said of the role.
“But it’s always something I intended to do and I’m excited for it.
“If I was ever going to do it, this is the group of people I’d want to do it with.”
Powyer is part of an incredibly close-knit leadership group of players within CYMS, with he and the likes of Ronayne, Ben Marlin, Jordan Reynolds, Jyie Chapman and Alex Bonham having developed together under Ryan’s tutelage during the past five or six seasons.
The impact Ryan left on them was a lasting one and Powyer said there won’t be a massive change in the way things are done despite the switch in leadership.
“It’s a credit to Tim that he can step away and with the direction he set nothing changes,” Powyer said.
“We’re two different people but our work ethic and effort we put in is the same.
“I had pre-season in Illawarra (last season) so I learnt some different things there. Just on defence and contact so there will be some slight changes but the main principles will be the same.”
The goals are also the same as they have been for many years at a club a successful as CYMS.
The main aim is getting the premiership back to Dubbo.
“Obviously this is a great experience for me but the expectation is winning the grand final. It’s as simple as that,” Powyer said.
“We had a great year this year but fell short at the last hurdle. But we’ll go again with the same goal and everyone knows that.”
As well as winning titles, Powyer said he wants to continue the work Ryan did this year in developing a strong and large squad that allows lower grade players to experience first grade.