A new name and a new competition in 2023 is a possibility for the Trangie Magpies after the club was forced to pull out of the remainder of this season's Castlereagh League competition.
A lack of commitment from the playing group forced the Magpies to withdraw its league tag and senior league side from the competition last Friday.
It had been an uphill battle for the Magpies for much of the season after an emergency meeting was needed in December to decide whether the club could form a committee and compete in 2022.
A committee was formed and the club's fortunes seemed bright when a bumper Old Boys' Day was held early in the season and former NRL players Justin Carney and Joe Williams pulled on black and white jerseys.
But those good times proved fleeting.
"We had a COVID game where we couldn't field enough players because they all got COVID," club president Luke Phillips said, looking back at a key part of his club's season.
"Then we had two byes so we had three straight byes and that cruelled us.
"I think that (lack of game time) and the colder weather played a part. People just said 'I'm not going to training'."
It got to the point in recent weeks where virtually no players were attending training, leaving Phillips and the club uncertain who would turn up on gameday.
While the interest level of players was a real issue, Phillips said the support the players were given in the first place was also lacking and that played a role in the decision to withdraw from the competition as well.
"If you've got people helping you in the background then the players will be keen, but they won't be keen without that support off the field," Phillips said
"We haven't even had a strapper this year. We haven't had a team manager."
Phillips is hopeful the decision to stop playing this year can prove to be a case of short term pain for long term gain.
The plan is to get Trangie back on the field in 2023, but how that looks is far from certain at this stage.
A strong committee and coach or captain-coach to lead the rebuild will be needed while the club is keeping its option open when it comes to where the teams will play.
Applying for a move to the Woodbridge Cup is one option that has been discussed, but no meaningful conversations have been held with the Castlereagh League board yet.
There is reason behind the possible switch, with Trangie having historic rivalries with many of the clubs that now play in the Woodbridge Cup.
"We're not unhappy with the Castlereagh, but it's more our old competition with the teams we played against and a lot of the towns are smaller," Phillips said.
"Apart from the two teams from Orange and Bathurst, they're all around our size.
"The old Group 11 second division used to have Trundle, Peak Hill, Manildra, Molong, Eugowra. Trangie has a rich history against those sides. Condo, too.
"I don't know if it will happen but that's been the talk with some of the older guys in town here and I have reached out to Woodbridge Cup.
"It's an option we're looking into."
A competition might not be the only change for the club in 2023.
"We're looking at a fresh start," Phillips added.
"Trangie used to be the Rams so we're looking at maybe going back to that as well.
"We've got a few things going on but before we even worry about those we've got to get a team on the field and we have to have a committee vote on which direction we want to go."
To ensure there's plenty of time to make the right decision for the club, Phillips is planning on holding a meeting next month to get the ball rolling.
There, he hopes to get a gauge on interest levels and determine where the club will start putting its energy.
For the Castlereagh League, Trangie's decision is another blow after the Coonabarabran Unicorns club pulled out of the competition just days out from round one.
"Obviously Trangie's withdrawal midway through our competition is far from ideal, but we will have to just deal with it and get on with it as best we can", Castlereagh League secretary Bryson Luff said.
"A revamp of the draw for the remaining ten rounds of the competition is highly unlikely, with grounds already booked so it would seem that there will be additional byes for clubs that were drawn to play Trangie.
"There will be meeting of all clubs next week to discuss the matter and what to do in terms of for and against points for the games that Trangie have played in, and the ones that they were due to play in."
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