The Macleay Valley Mustangs will play their season opener this weekend against Taree Bulls at home as Group 3 begins.
For many players it's been a year and a half since they've played due to COVID cancelling the senior competition last year.
The Mustangs will debut five players in first grade, a great testament to the strength of theirs and the Kempsey Dragons junior development systems.
Ethan Thompson, Ivan Madden, Selwyn Smith, Ethan Cooper and Jason Russell will be the five.
A jersey presentation from previous Mustangs players will make for a special occasion for those boys.
Thompson, Madden, Smith and Cooper all came through the ranks together.
"It's pleasing for the club to see Kempsey juniors sticking around," 18s coach Reuben Jones told the Argus.
"A few of them would've debuted last year if it wasn't for COVID and have been biding their time in reserve grade and 18s.
"They're all pretty excited and have been training well."
Russell also came through Kempsey juniors, playing a few years above the four previously mentioned.
Under 18s are scheduled to kick off at midday on Sunday with reserves and firsts to follow.
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