The last year Claude Gordon spent with Dubbo CYMS was one of the most unforgettable of his life.
And not all for good reasons.
It was 2008 and a young Gordon had moved back west after spending time in the Newcastle system.
He was making real waves in Group 11 but was then struck down with a severe case of pneumonia that affected his heart and resulted in him being rushed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney in a serious condition.
It was a moment which sent shockwaves around the Dubbo sporting community so needless to say, Gordon hopes this year is a little more calm.
One of the most well-travelled players in the Western Rams region, Gordon returned to CYMS for the 2020 season and made his first start at five-eighth in last weekend's Challenge Cup win over Moree.
He'll be in the halves alongside Alex Bonham again on Sunday when the Fishies welcome the Wyong Roos to Apex Oval for the second round of the statewide knockout tournament.
"I enjoyed it," Gordon said of last weekend.
"It obviously makes it a lot easier when you've got blokes on the same page and who want to do the same thing, and that's winning.
"Not saying other blokes haven't done that but everyone is on the same page."
CYMS' biggest problem last year was there was no dominant half there.Claude Gordon
The structure and culture of success is just one of the things which attracted Gordon back after a couple of tough years with Dubbo Westside and the Cowra Magpies.
Another factor was the strict fitness guidelines in place, something many players dread was something Gordon craved, while the chance to link up with a host of his Orana Goo-gars knockout side teammates.
Close to 10 of the current CYMS side plays with the Goo-gars and he said being around them each session and a part of the close-knit playing group has
But the move just wasn't about what CYMS could offer Gordon.
The playmaker is also confident he possesses something the Fishies need as they look to go one better in 2020.
"CYMS' biggest problem last year was there was no dominant half there," he said.
"No one was talking constantly and pushing them around. 'Bonho' [Bonham] is a good footballer but he's a bit quiet.
"He's got the respect of the boys but I'll tell them where they need to go.
"I followed CYMS a lot last season and went to games with 'Bonho' and I'd tell him this."
While confident in his own ability and role in the team moving forward, Gordon will again use this weekend as a chance to learn more about his teammates.
While CYMS has a proud record in the Challenge Cup - in two seasons they've won the title and finished as runners-up - the real benefit of the competition is it allows the side to gel well before the start of the Group 11 season proper.
Gordon was just one of the new faces who played last week, alongside imposing forward Jack Kavanagh, former NRL player Isaac Gordon, EJ Fernando, and the returning Mark Merritt and Brody Chapman.
Much was made of the size of the CYMS pack following the additions of Kavanagh, Merritt, and Chapman and Gordon said working off the back of that will only make life easier for himself and Bonham.
The forward pack receives a bigger
Captain-coach Jarryn Powyer is set to return to the lineup on Sunday after missing last weekend through suspension while Wade Kavanagh may miss the match as he will play for the Western Rams on Saturday.
The challenge posed by the Roos will be greater than that of Moree, with the Wyong squad headlined by former NRL player and Samoan international Terence Seu Seu.
Kick-off is 12pm at Apex Oval.