The Young Cherrypickers might not be on the training paddock as yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready and raring for a return to Group 9 rugby league.
Coach Nick Hall said spirits were high in Young and the prospect of a potential July 18 return, only had his players salivating at the prospect of stepping out onto Alfred Oval.
“From a Cherrypicker point of view, we are ready to play, and that is across all age groups, we just want to get back out on the paddock,” Hall said.
“We are buoyant, maybe we are just rugby league tragics, or maybe we are wearing rose coloured glasses, but either way, we just can’t wait to get back to playing some footy.”
Hall said he had been told of some teams that had returned to training, and despite the temptation to follow suit, his side would wait on more news from NSWRL.
“I say good luck to them (Wagga Kangaroos), I am happy to hear, and excited to see, people back training,” Hall said.
“I am sure they are training with the best of intent and I am sure they are taking every precaution.
“In Young, we don’t want to upset out our local relationships, if we bring the virus into this town, that could ruin our sponsorships for five or 10 years and we don’t see the need to take that risk.”
The Cherrypicker did admit it was giving him and his players itchy feet with all of the recent news of player signings and teams returning to training.
“We are keen and we are feeding off what we are hearing from the odd snippet of news that touch on different player signings and hearing that teams are back at training,” Hall said.
The coach suggested that recent signings of James Woolford, James Grant, Inoke Vunipola, and Joe, Michael and Ben Picker, wouldn’t be impacted by Covid-19.
“We are all good, we have the same issue of dealing with travellers but that is something that always happens and we aren’t pushing the point of them coming across at this time,” Hall said.
“They have all said they are still playing, and we could possibly have one or two more locals returning from other areas.”
Hall also highlighted the depth of his squad, a message that will surely send alarm bells ringing across the Group 9 landscape.
“We have some really high caliber players and all I know is that I will have first graders playing reserve grade this year,” Hall said.
In the mean time, Hall and the Pickers will be waiting for some news from NSWRL in the coming days, with expectation that training could be allowed from next week.
“We keep hearing we will be training from June 1st, it will all depend on what the NSWRL say, but lets hope we can get back to running and some fitness,” Hall said.