Will Ingram and Cowra Magpies will take some time before deciding what the club's 2024 season looks like.
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Speaking after Sunday's Western reserve grade grand final loss to Dubbo CYMS, one Ingram described as devastating, the captain-coach wouldn't be drawn on speculation about the club's future.
Cowra failed to field a first grade side in 2023 and at one point before the season kicking off it wasn't even certain they'd have numbers for a reserve grade team.
Since then, rumours around the club have ranged from pushing for a return to the Peter McDonald Premiership in 2024 through to a drop back to the second tier Woodbridge Cup.
Some important conversations will be needed in the coming weeks and months but, for Ingram, they could wait as he and his teammates dealt with falling just short of an almost perfect season.
"We'll talk about what happened today on the way home and spend a day or two together just to celebrate what we've achieved," Ingram said.
"We'll leave it for a couple of weeks and see where we're at after that."
Front-rower Ingram was immense for the Magpies at Apex Oval and much of CYMS' second half comeback occurred while he was taking a deserved break on the bench, while hooker Jack Nobes was another standout and someone capable of playing in a first grade competition.
What the future is for that pair and others in the side is uncertain, but one certainty at Cowra this season has been the support of the community.
The club's under 18s and league tag sides failed to make the finals, but the reserve grade team flew the flag and won 11 of 14 regular season games on the way to claiming the Group 10 minor premiership.
Finals wins over the Macquarie Raiders and Blayney followed, but getting past CYMS in the decider proved too big a challenge and they were beaten 32-22.
The Magpies fans were there to wrap their arms around the players after Sunday's match, and Ingram said that support hasn't gone unnoticed.
"It's massive," he said.
"The love and support from them isn't lost on us. We know how much they mean to us and how much we mean to them as a sporting team.
"We're really happy to have them here with us each week."
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