For so long Dubbo CYMS has relied on tried and trusted combinations but there will be something fresh about the spine of their side in 2023.
There's been plenty of change at the club after Luke Jenkins retired (again), Brad Pickering eased back his playing role due to employment commitments, younger players made the move to NRL clubs and regular off-season transfers occurred.
It left coach Shawn Townsend with a number of decisions to make, and some have been easier than others.
The hard-running Thurston has plenty of experience in that position and spent time their during the recent Country Championships as he and Forbes star Mitch Andrews rotated between fullback and centre to great effect.
Thurston will be part of a new-look spine this season as Alex Bonham is making the move from the halves to hooker - a position where he has also played previously in the past - while Claude Gordon has returned to the club and is set to partner Jordi Madden in the playmaker roles.
Gordon spent time with CYMS as a junior and also during the COVID-hit 2020 season when CYMS took part in the Presidents Cup.
After a stint with Bathurst Panthers, the western area journeyman is back at Dubbo and Townsend has been impressed by his actions and attitude during pre-season.
"He's in a good spot at the moment," Townsend said.
"He's a real leader at training. I think he's just in a good spot in everything he's doing."
It was a severely under strength CYMS squad which took part in the recent West Wyalong Knockout tournament and Gordon and Thurston took the reins for the group.
As two people who have made real commitments to their health in recent years, the pair don't drink alcohol and the example they set was adopted by the rest of playing group when a few beers has often being the norm after Friday night's opening round at West Wyalong.
"It was all led by Claude and Jeremy ... he (Gordon) has been good for us since he arrived. He's been super impressive," Townsend added.
Having new leaders emerge is something Townsend wants as he stated following a trial win over Orange CYMS a new nucleus will be formed in the coming years as the core group which has been so successful during the past decade nears the end of their careers.
Another thing the coach wants in his side is two genuine options at hooker and Sullivan Haycock has been locked in as the man to start on the bench and work with Bonham this year.
"That's the plan at the moment," Townsend said of Bonham moving spots.
"Bono at nine and it gives us a bit of flexibility. We can put him in the halves if needed and we'll have Sullivan Haycock on the bench so he can come on and give Bono a spell.
"I like having two hookers just in case someone gets injured. You can can cover it and not have to find a makeshift anywhere. That's my coaching philosophy.
"He (Haycock) is sharp out of dummy half so if he came on with 10-or-15 minutes to go at the back end of a half we'd be looking for him to create a little bit of stuff and run and put the defence and kickers under pressure while he's nice and fresh and super fit."
CYMS meets Gordon's old club Panthers on Sunday, April 16 in round one of the new PMP season.
Gordon is racing the clock to be fit for that game after suffering an ankle injury while playing at the recent Wellington Wedgetails Nines carnival.
Townsend is quietly optimistic he'll be fit for that match but, to the coach's delight, there are plenty of other options.
Kyjuan Crawford has earned rave reviews from his coach lately and after working on his fitness and skills over the off-season he's set to make the move from reserve grade to regular first grader.
Crawford also offers versatility as he can play across the back-row, at five-eighth or in the centres.
The centre spot vacated by Thurston is likely to be filled by former South Sydney and Newcastle Knights lower-grader Tom Hughes, who debuted for CYMS midway through last season.
While a number of changes are likely in the backline, the forwards are set to be much the same.
Jarryn Powyer, Ben Marlin and Billy Sing are among the core group which will still be vital to the side's hopes of going one better than last season, when CYMS suffered a grand final loss to Forbes.
Jayden Merritt has also developed into a key part of the pack, James Stanley continued to make a real impact last year and Mitch Cleary showed great development while Tom Stimpson and Jaymn Cleary have also been pushed by Townsend during pre-season as they chase more first grade minutes.