It didn't take long for the messages to start flying in the Dubbo CYMS player group chat this week.
News of the release of a schedule for next year's Peter McDonald Premiership spread quickly, and it certainly created a buzz.
"We've all been waiting to see if it goes ahead so when the draw came out there was a constant flow of 'let's go' and 'let's start now'," CYMS coach Shawn Townsend said.
"They want to get going now. It's exciting."
CYMS has been a big supporter of change to the competition structure for a number of years now.
It was prior to the 2017 season the Fishies officially attempted to switch from Group 11 to Group 10 but the move was denied.
The men in green and white have enjoyed plenty of success, having played in every grand final since 2011 in a run of nine successive decider appearances prior to the COVID-cancelled 2020 and 2021 seasons.
As proud as everyone involved in the club has been of that success and the footy has always been enjoyable, some of the longest serving players at the club had been questioning their futures in recent times.
"I reckon we would have had a couple of players pull the pin at the end of this year but there's another challenge for them now," Townsend said.
"There's some blokes who have been playing for 10 years who might have had enough because it's been the same all the time.
"But I think they'll play for another three or four years just because it will generate excitement again among our players."
The most exciting aspects for Townsend players is the prospect of playing what is a blockbuster match almost every week in the new western-wide competition.
If the draft schedule stays in place as it is, Dubbo CYMS will starts its 2022 season on the road in a bumper meeting with Orange CYMS before a home clash with Group 10 2018 and 2019 premiers, Bathurst Panthers.
A trip to Nyngan and a meeting with Parkes follows and while that is somewhat daunting, it's something Townsend is relishing.
"Sometimes (in recent seasons), and you don't want to sound arrogant, but they knew they could play shit and still win 50-0," Townsend said of his players.
"It's not boredom, but it just a day out on a Sunday that they could instead spend with their young kids at home.
"But now the whole week of preparation will be exciting. Come game day they'll be excited and they'll play better as well."
The one question Townsend did have on the proposed draw was the crossover matches with the Group 10 conference.
Each team plays up to four crossover games, meaning there are some teams who will not play each other.
That, in Townsend's belief, opens up the possibility of some sides having a more difficult draw than other depending on which teams form the opposite conference they played.
It was confirmed after the recent CYMS annual general meeting Townsend would be staying on as first grade coach after taking on the role ahead of the 2021 season.
The mentor, who has previously had plenty of experience coaching junior sides, left the decision to the board and senior players but all were happy to have him locked in for the job again.
"It's another good challenge. I might just have to do a bit more homework this time," he laughed.
CYMS is expected to start official pre-season in mid-January but the club has already been busy behind the seasons.
Prop Nick Harvey, who played for CYMS in the 2018 season, is set to return to the green and white side of town after playing for the Macquarie Raiders this year.
Tom Lawson, who played alongside Harvey at Mudgee in the past, is also expected to link with the Fishies.
DUBBO CYMS' PROPOSED FIXTURES:
Week 1: Orange CYMS (A)
Week 2: Bathurst Panthers (H)
Week 3: Nyngan Tigers (A)
Week 4: Parkes Spacemen (H)
Week 5: Forbes Magpies (A)
Week 6:Wellington Cowboys (A)
Week 7: Nyngan Tigers (H)
Week 8: Macquarie Raiders (H)
Week 9: Mudgee Dragons (A)
Week 10: Wellington Cowboys (H)
Week 11: Forbes Magpies (H)
Week 12: Bye
Week 13: Parkes Spacemen (A)
Week 14: Bathurst St Pat's (A)
Week 15: Bye
Week 16: Parkes Spacemen (A)
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