Muswellbrook Heelers to challenge for back-to-back Newcastle-Hunter Rugby Union divisional titles ahead of 2019 grand final

HIGH HOPES: Muswellbrook skipper Cameron Young is thrilled to have the opportunity to obtain back-to-back titles when the Heelers take to the field on Friday night.
HIGH HOPES: Muswellbrook skipper Cameron Young is thrilled to have the opportunity to obtain back-to-back titles when the Heelers take to the field on Friday night.

IN 2018, the Muswellbrook Heelers were the only local senior side to win a premiership, and now they will have the chance to reach that feat again.

At 7.35pm on September 13, they will tackle The Waratahs at number two sportsground in Newcastle, with the hope of giving their opposition a Friday the 13th nightmare.

Having started the season in stuttering fashion, they hit their stride heading into finals before losing in the major semis, and then grinding out a victory over Merewether Carlton last week.

That aforementioned defeat came against The Waratahs, who lost just two games all season, although they were both against the Muswellbrook side.

Captain Cameron Young said that while the loss of a fortnight ago stung them, the side was now better prepared to be crowned victors in the deciding fixture.

"The way that we played that day, we kind of weren't ourselves and I'd say The Waratahs did a Muswellbrook on Muswellbrook," stated.

"They came out and they stepped up and did what they had to do and the right times and it paid off for them."

This is the third consecutive year the Heelers have made the grand final, which is both impressive and surprising considering their turnover of players in that time.

Having been at the club for a number of years, Young said he was greatly excited by the opportunity to win two premierships in a row, which is something many footballers never get the chance to do.

"I've only ever won one grand final which was last year," he explained.

"To lose two years ago to Easts [Rugby Club] and back it up with a win last year was really good and I think to go back-to-back would be extraordinary for the club."

Often in big matches, it can take just one player to step up and lift their team to victory.

However, when asked who that could be for the Heelers, the captain was diplomatic but truly genuine in his assertion that anyone in the team could break the game open.

Centres James Hawkins and Beau Haywood, fullback Elliot Serhan, forwards Harry Hobden, Ben Heriot, Mark Snow and Alistair Buchanan and youngsters Sam Heriot and Will Hobden were among those who he named.

"The list could go on, it's going to be a 1-to-25 effort on the day and I think everyone has the ability to change something if they can," said Young.

If they are to come out on top, it would likely go down in club folklore as a golden age, as well as again bringing great joy and pride to Muswellbrook.