South Dubbo Wanderer's club president Matt Stonestreet can't wait for his side to get stuck into the revived Western Premier League when it returns later in the year.
"We're very excited, on the eleventh we'll put in our official nomination, but the club is keen and the boys are keen and I think it's great that they'e been able to find a way to reinvigorate the competition this way," Stonestreet said.
The enthusiasm is a marked mood-shift from late last year, when the Dubbo and District Football Association and others further afield were sceptical if the representative competition would return at all.
But, as the competition's return has got closer, with grant funding secured and firm pledges from nine clubs, there seems to have been a definite sea-change, culminating with a exploratory meeting held in Orange last Friday to finalise details about the form the competition will take.
Stonestreet was present, along with representatives from the Orana Spurs, Macquarie United and Dubbo Bulls and left impressed with the steps taken by the clubs and associations involved.
"The vibe at that meeting was very positive and it was great to see everyone with the same opinion; that we're all there to benefit football in the Central West."
One of Stonestreet's biggest concerns heading into the meeting was how associations would choose to enforce and accommodate club's obligations to both the Western Premier League and their local competition.
"The concerns were around how clubs were going to work with their associations and what rules they'd have in place," Stonestreet said.
"Dubbo's an aligned competition for senior men, so Jim Auld was very forthcoming that the clubs that nominate would have as much support as the association could provide and that there would be no penalties with regards to field allocations and things like that," Stonestreet said.
"We're going to slot in where we can, and they're not going to say that you can't do something if that's what works best, which is good for all of us."
Stonestreet also thanked Western NSW Football for their assistance and effort in reintroducing the concept of the competition, noting that the competition was originally talked about as a 2021 possibility before efforts moved it forward.
"It's a credit to Western NSW Football to get on board as quickly as they have, that they've been able to get on board and let the clubs involved dictate most of how it's going to be run, that's all been fantastic for us," Stonestreet said.
"That's really what we wanted form a club point of view and we've had their support to make sure it goes the way it all needs to go in order to be the best possible competition in Central NSW."
The club will likely provide a number of benefits to first grade players, but Stonestreet is eager to see representative and regional players be given a new pathway to success.
"The players that have come from playing rep, they hit that 17-year-old mark and they've got nowhere else to go, unless they join Western it's a good way to still represent their club but on a bigger scale," Stonestreet said.
"My son plays for Western NSW, and it's a very expensive exercise, now with this they've go the opportunity to train and play in Dubbo."
"That will bring out some really good derbies, it'll help the community to get more involved in the sport and show it off and give something a bit different for everyone to do."
"You always want to make sure you're playing against the best players and teams in your competition possible and this is another way to ensure that."