Excitement is growing in the Central West ahead of the Manly-Gold Coast match at Mudgee on the weekend and Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler can't wait to reward the country fans.
Manly players and staff arrived in Mudgee overnight and will meet with fans on Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday's battle with the Titans at Glen Willow.
Manly heads into that match after a first win for the season and the chance to build momentum while delighting some passionate fans in the bush would be perfect for Hasler.
"A lot of the clubs have been really involved in getting to country centres ... and reward their loyalty," Hasler said.
"It's a real lift and it's rewarding for those country areas who follow rugby league and it's not just this game, either.
"I think it's a great initiative."
Manly will welcome back star fullback Tom Trbojevic from injury on Saturday and while the Origin representative is capable of producing scintillating performances, he'll also be bringing much more to the field according to his coach.
"It's probably the things you don't see," Hasler said.
"It's the confidence he brings to the team and the confidence he puts into those individual players."
While the Sea Eagles are keen for this weekend, it can't compare to the buzz fans in Mudgee and the surrounding areas are feeling.
Mudgee residents Adam Jones and Tony Devine have stated they wouldn't miss the match for the world.
The pair have both supported the Sea Eagles since they were young, when so many despised the club.
"I think that's what drew me to them," Jones said.
Supporting one of the most loathed teams in the NRL competition would naturally make the duo susceptible to copping flak, but that's something they're willing to endure, in fact, they like it.
"Everyone always says to me 'you either love Manly, or you hate them'. Every supporter of the other teams tends to all hate Manly and we like it that way," Devine said.
"I've been to plenty of stadiums and felt like I'm one in five thousand, it's better that way.
"Whether they're losing or not, you still support them. You take it on the chin from people who want to bag the crap out of you."
Both will be at Glen Willow on Saturday, proudly covered in maroon and white.
"I'm not just a Manly supporter, I'm a rugby league supporter. I'd go if Manly wasn't playing, it wouldn't matter. All the haters will come out, hopefully they will," Adam said.
"I had a holiday booked in for the South Coast and I had to change the dates to make sure I'm here. We're both going, there's no doubt about that," Tony added.
Kick-off is 3pm, Saturday.
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