Dubbo cannon Sean McHugh said playing for NSW Country squad, the Cockatoos, was always a goal of his, but he "thought that horse had bolted".
The Dubbo Kangaroos' veteran is joined by fellow teammate Mark Baldwin, along with 25 of Central West's best.
"I don't know all the guys on the team, but most of the central west guys are all close, we share a close bond," McHugh said.
"We've trained together and played against each other, sharing a beer and a laugh afterward.
"I think that's why so many of us were selected.
"You can't be a successful team if you don't like your teammates."
McHugh said it's pretty exciting having made the squad, especially seeing he "hasn't played rep footy for a while".
"I'm excited by the challenge, looking forward to it. it's a pretty good opportunity," he said.
Orange Emus centre Lachie Harris is equally excited, saying he's "absolutely stoked' to earn his first NSW Country call-up, and just as excited to see 11 more of his Blue Bulls teammates named in the Cockatoos squad, along with a plethora of Central West's colts and women.
Combined, 25 of Central West's best have been included across the three Cockatoos, colts and Corellas squads, released on Sunday evening, following the Blue Bulls' stunning Caldwell Cup and women's country week double over the long weekend.
Harris is one of a dozen Caldwell Cup-winning Blue Bulls to be named, among them Dubbo Kangaroos' Baldwin and McHugh, Forbes' Charlie French and Mahe Fangupo, Bathurst Bulldogs' Joe Nash and Justin Mobbs and Harden duo Ben Lenehan and Shahid Khalfan.
Three of Central West's fifth-finishing colts side were named while 10 of the championship-winning women's side earned a call-up, including four of Harris' Emus clubmates in Em McDonald, Jacky Lyden, Nikki D'Aquino and rookie sensation Milika Tuinakauvadra.
"I'm pretty excited, there's been a lot of hard work going into getting to this point so it's nice to get the reward and it's great to see so many Central West players get picked across all the squads," Harris said.
"I think we kind of expected quite a few considering we won and the women did too, but to have  is a pretty huge number. It's great to see the Emus women get picked too, they all work hard and deserve it. I think Nikki was a late call-up to the Central West side too, so she's done incredibly."
Harris said he thought he'd done enough to put himself in the mix but wasn't genuinely expecting a call-up and went on to highlight teammates who "finally got a deserved call-up".