AFTER several years on the sidelines, the Nambucca Heads Roosters are making a surprise comeback for the 2022 Group 2 Rugby League season.
Only a few weeks ago the Roosters announced that none of their senior players would be taking to the field next season, but newly elected club president Peter Bellden is excited to say that has all changed after Group 2 granted the club's request for re-entry into the competition.
"Group 2 didn't want to keep us out," he said.
"They were pleasantly surprised and impressed with our business plan and our enthusiasm; they are more than happy to have us and are excited to have us back in the competition, but not as excited as us.
"We have some great talent keen to play for Nambucca and a strong committee so I am confident we will take to the field in good shape.
"Full credit to our previous committee who worked tirelessly to get us in a viable financial position so we can move forward now."
Now the club is officially back, Bellden says the Roosters will turn their attention to rebuilding from the ground up to avoid past mistakes.
Four senior teams have been entered, First Grade, Reserves, Under 18s and Ladies League Tag and now the club is looking to recruit players with a focus on long term retention.
"It's been a bit like starting from scratch, getting everything back up and running after so long," Bellden said.
"This year, we will focus on securing the future and keeping the club going, putting systems in place to secure sponsors and keep players running onto the paddock each week.
"Warwick Jones and Gary Jarrett are our head coaches; both have a wealth of knowledge that will benefit the club, the remaining coaches will be announced over the next few weeks.
"We already have over 30 players signed up and they are clamouring to get back out on the field.
"Sponsors are putting their hands up and there has been massive overall interest in the Roosters Rugby League Club; it's all looking like it might fall into place."
Any players interested in joining can contact the Nambucca Roosters SRL Facebook page for more information.
If we still have our four teams running out on the field by the end of the year, it will be a success; any wins we get along the way will just be a bonus.- Peter Bellden
The 2022 Group 2 Rugby League competition is set to start May 1 next year, but Bellden and the club committee are already hard at work with plans to re-establish the Roosters presence in the community after a long absence.
A couple of trial games in April, a long-overdue centenary celebration, custom jerseys with indigenous designs, an "Old Boys Day" and several other special events are all on the cards.
A premiership will most likely not be part of these plans, but Bellden isn't ruling it out entirely.
"It would be nave to say we are not interested in winning a premiership our first year back, but I think the club is more focused on rebuilding at this point," he said.
"If we still have our four teams running out on the field by the end of the year, it will be a success; any wins we get along the way will just be a bonus.
"We want the club to keep going well beyond 2022; if all goes to plan, the Roosters will never be out of the competition again."
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