It's no secret over the years the Macleay Valley Mustangs have struggled to sustain success.
It's a long story that most are familiar with and doesn't need to be expanded on.
There's an air of positivity around the club and that's the focus.
That positivity comes off the back of the youthful presence in the Macleay Valley squad and a club that goes all in on the training paddock.
Around five weeks ago, a change to the club executive saw some familiar faces come on board.
Richard Kennedy is the new President, Reuben Jones Secretary with Dominique and Al Lockwood involved.
Coaching wise, Ant Cowan has returned to the Mustangs after playing for the Port Breakers in 2019 and will combine with Steve 'Rock' Walker.
This will mark both men's first venture into a head coaching role.
"It's a good time to start my coaching career, I've got a soft spot for the Mustangs - it's a club close to my heart," Cowan told the Argus.
"2008 was my first year with the Mustangs.
"I've been there in the trenches when we've been belted 50+ and then 2011 we made the semi's, won the comp in 2012 and then won Group 3 in 2014."
For both Walker and Cowan the main aim will be educate the nursery of junior players Kempsey is famous for.
"It's about these young fellas now, I'm not getting any younger and it's good to see the club breathing again," Cowan said.
"We're just rebuilding at the end of the day, we're not here to try and win the comp, we just want to be competitive every week and come next year and the year after we can build and win another premiership in the next five years."
The Mustangs come into the 2021 season as defending premiers after the fairy-tale season of 2019.
However, their squad will have a different look to the one that defeated Wauchope 34-24.
"We've lost the majority of that premiership winning team, a lot of them are back at Port City this year but there's a good group of kids around 18-20 years old who just need the experience that Anthony and Rock will bring," Jones said.
"We can't just throw them in and expect them to thrive on their own, they need a couple of old heads to show them the way and look after them."
"It's a different ball game playing juniors and 18's, going straight into first grade, you've got to be a bit more mature and smarter," Cowan added.
Meanwhile in the reserves Mitch Walker will take charge with his last coaching role back in 2006 at the Crescent Head Kangaroos.
"My main goal is to focus on all the boys up here, getting them away from drugs and alcohol and keep them busy during the week - give them something to do on the weekend," he said.
In the 18s, Jones will continue his role as coach while club stalwart Al Lockwood will be helping as always.
"More than half the team from 18s last year will play 18s this year with some of the Kempsey Dragons 16s who made the semi's last year coming through," Jones said.
"The 18s have a good team just like every year - they just have to buy into what these fellas are doing here with training, they seem to want to rely on their talent too much instead of working hard.
"There's a good mix of kids here but it all starts at training, you can be as talented as you want but have to put in the work to get to the grand final."
Current North Coast Bulldogs Laurie Daley Cup players, Tim and Chris Bull, Tirell Dungay and Bailey Thompson will all still be available for the 18s.
Ethan Thompson, Ethan Cooper, Byron Kelly and Ivan Madden will move up into the senior ranks.
With a strong junior base, the club is focused on ensuring all three squads join together as a tight-knit group.
"We're training as a club at the moment, building a strong culture and treating everyone as one and going forward," Walker said.
"Winning one year and going downhill the next year isn't something we want to continue doing."
"We want to everyone in the community to be apart of this club, not just a select group, whether that be playing or helping out," Jones added.
"Anyone from any walk of life is welcome and that's what we're all about this year.
"We're still looking for sponsors, we're thankful for all the support we've got this year so far, it's been really surprising.
"We've got a lot of support from all the local businesses but we're still happy for more to come on board."
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