IT’S a well-worn phrase in sporting circles.
But, there’s no mistaking the Muswellbrook Eagles Football Club will undergo a “rebuilding year” in 2018.
A number of factors cruelled the organisation from making its mark last season, however co-coaches Hayden Nicol and Max Nudd remain confident of fielding a competitive unit come kick-off time.
“To be honest, we want to forget 2017,” Nudd said.
“We had a lot of new players at the club; and it took a while to gel.
“But, we finished very strongly.
“And, we’re hoping to build on that in 2018.
“Shift work has a big effect on us, too,” Nicol added.
“I guess that’s the same for many sporting groups in town.
“Guys hate to commit [to the side] if they’re missing every second week.”
At the moment, the Eagles have 14 players on the books – and need a minimum of 20 to contest the Zone League 2 competition, which takes in the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.
“We’re eager to pick up some more blokes in the coming weeks,” Nicol said.
“Unfortunately, we’ve lost a few youngsters [in the off-season].
“However, it does provide us with an opportunity to restructure the club.
“We need to get some numbers back; and work with the junior teams a bit more.
“Most of the boys [here] have come through the ranks.
“The Eagles will field under-9, under-10, under-11 and under-12 sides this season – that’s a positive sign.
“So, it’s important to try and keep the kids at the club.
“Not having those foundations [in the past] has probably impacted us [now], too.
“We’ve also run a six-a-side summer competition, which has been strong the past few years.
“It’s a great way of introducing people to the sport.”
If anyone is interested in having a run with Muswellbrook FC, head to Victoria Park on Thursday from 6pm.
The club will then revert to two sessions a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) when the current six-a-side summer format wraps up.