Blayney president Damon Taylor believes the "resilient" Bears are better equipped than most to roll with the punches, and they'll have to be to handle the latest blow in the lead-up to the 2020 Group 10 season.
Big name off-season signing Siosaia Vave has effectively done a runner, collecting his $5000 sign-on bonus and then another $2400 out of Taylor's pocket before failing to answer or return any phone calls from the Bears' committee since Christmas.
The club went public with their dismay on Sunday night, Vave's disappearing act first outed in the Sydney press.
Vave then reemerged on Monday, calling the Bears to express his desire to appear with the club still, but Taylor said the former Parramatta, Manly and Cronulla prop "won't be playing" in Blayney this season.
"We need the money back," Taylor said.
Taylor said the alarm bells began ringing when Vave's old club, St Mary's, indicated the former NRL player owed them $4000 as well.
The Bears boss was hopeful of having the money repaid, but admitted that might be a dream given Vave's history.
"I'd like to say yes, we'll get the money back and then his name is redeemed in some respects ... but I don't like my chances," he added.
Vave landed at Blayney in late September, the club striking the first blow in the Group 10 off-season as it looked to put a winless 2019 behind them.
He came out to our presentation night and was charming as hell and we thought we'd hit the jackpotBears president Damon Taylor
"He came out to our presentation night and was charming as hell and we thought we'd hit the jackpot," Taylor said.
"We're not the only club that gets caught like this, but for us coming off a few tough years it hits hard.
"We've been a club that's rolled with a few punches the last couple of years. We're resilient. There's still plenty of optimism around the club."
That optimism would stem from news the club is close to signing a replacement for Vave in the coming week, and Taylor confirmed the Bears haven't sat on their hands in the last five weeks.
While the club announced Mick Nixon as its 2020 coach a fortnight ago.