Beau Robinson promised change when he arrived back at the Dubbo Kangaroos last year and he delivered on that, with the club implement new systems both on and off the field.
As the former Super Rugby premiership winner admits, it didn’t lead to “the most successful season” in 2018 but for he and many others, this year has been one of learning.
There was a new, more professional approach to training and a more club-wide way of working with players across all grades working to the same plan.
The club, from incoming president Gerald Webster, through to the players across all grades now know what is expected of them and what they need to do and that’s something which is creating some excitement for season 2019 in the Blowes Clothing Cup.
“Our aim is to build and I feel we’ve got a foundation now in terms of the teams and in terms of the structures and systems we’ve got off the field,” Roos’ director of rugby Robinson said.
“Last year was a big change for a lot of blokes and not many had been exposed to that before. But the biggest thing was they were receptive and supportive.”
The Roos have held a number of meetings in recent months, taking a strategic approach and not just planning for 2019, but many years ahead.
‘Taking the Roos to 2025’ was a theme of one recent meeting, with the club putting just as much focus on matters off the field as on it.
“It’s about clarity and planning. Clarity on where we are going, what we are going to do, and what we are going to achieve, and then planning so everyone understands how we’re going to do that.
One major thing the club wants to achieve is the development of a women’s side, with hopes one could be formed for the 2019 Westfund Ferguson Cup.
Having a women’s side will help achieve the goal of making the Kangaroos more diverse.
Our aim is to build and I feel we’ve got a foundation now.Roos' Beau Robinson
“We want to engage more with the community, have more support staff and people involved with the club,” Robinson said.
“We also want to have financial goals so the long term success of Dubbo rugby and the Roos is mapped out.”
Little discussion up to this point has been on winning titles, with Robinson stating that is more of a “result” rather than a goal.
Coaches are yet to be confirmed while pre-season training will start in mid-January.
Robinson feels all the planning and work behind the scenes can make success on the field an “outcome and result” of that effort.
“We’re excited about it and we’re also in the process of trying to lock in some trial games,” the one-time Wallaby added.
It is too early at this point for the club to confirm and major additions or departures from the playing ranks but the Roos have drawn up a “hit list” of players and positions they are targeting.
There has been a lot of interest, according to Robinson, from people who started their careers at the Roos who are interested in returning to the club in some capacity.
The outside backs is one area the club is keen to strengthen before the new season starts, especially given scrumhalf Pat Berryman has made the move to Sydney.
“I think we were a bit light on in terms of depth in the backs,” Robinson said.
“Our nine, 10, and 15 was bloody strong in Patty Berryman, Hamish Gordon, and Jock Brownhill but once you get away from that and the first 15 injuries can really hurt us.
“We’ve got the quality there but just not the depth.”