Narromine Jets president Mick Burns insists his club is "wasting its time" if its not aiming for the Group 11 finals this year.
It's been something of a turbulent off-season for the Jets, with captain-coach Dylan Hill being forced to give up his role due to health concerns while a number of potential "big signings" have also slipped through the club's fingers.
But things are looking more positive at the moment, with newly-installed co-coached Chad Jacobson and Ryan Richardson seeing more players at pre-season sessions while the Jets cruised past the Trangie Magpies in the annual Norm Newman Shield pre-season match on Saturday.
The Jets haven't played in the Group 11 finals in more than a decade now but Hill, speaking late last year prior to giving up the captain-coach's role, said he would have been disappointed if his side missed the top five in 2021.
And despite the off-season disruption, Burns has the same target.
"We spoke about it at training and if we're not aiming at semi-finals then we're wasting our time," he said.
"There's no point just going through the motions."
Player numbers has long been an issue at Narromine and that continues this year, especially in the under 18s, but there have been positive signs in recent weeks.
There were 29 players in total on hand for the Jets for Saturday's match against Trangie, one the men in red and white won 36-6, while new faces continue to appear at training.
"Training has picked up the last few weeks," Burns said.
"The numbers are good and that's come off the back of signing Chad Jacobson and Ryan Richardson as co-coaches. There was a bit of uncertainty after Dylan had to pull out due to health reasons."
Jacobson and Richardson are two long-serving Jets players with a strong affinity to the club.
"While I approached those guys they were teetering on putting their hand up anyway," Burns said.
"They're both senior players. Chad was part of the 2005 premiership side and Ryan has been playing first grade ever since he came out of juniors, probably eight or nine years now.
"They're senior players who have stepped up and they're organising things. We've got a couple of new players on board and we're hopeful of getting a couple more."
Players like former Group 11 representative captain Luke Thompson and Alex Marr were secured as new signings prior to Christmas.
Another new signing could be secured by the end of this week but Burns admitted a sense of frustration in regards to missing out on others recently.
"We're seeing a couple of new faces at each session. That adds to the skillset and as a club we're pretty happy," he said.
"While we've missed out on a couple of big signings and we're disappointed about that we're not sticking our head in the sand and giving up."
Marr scored for the Jets during the weekend's win over Trangie, the latest edition of what is one of the more specials events on the calendar for the two clubs.
The Norm Newman Shield day was a successful one for the Jets as the club's league tag side was also a resounding winner on the day.
"I had the pleasure of knowing Normy and I worked with him on council," Burns said.
"I'd hang off his stories and he was just a lovely gentleman. His wife Pauline comes and presents the trophy and keeps an eye on the club, it's always a great day."
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