A mounting injury toll, work commitments and a desire to allow the club’s juniors to focus on under 18 commitments were all contributing factors in Boggabri forfeiting last week.
They had set a goal not to forfeit in 2018 but with just 11 players available for the weekend, the club made the tough decision to pull the pin.
“No one wants to let the club down, the supporters down, the sponsors down and the opposition down but they've gotta see it from our point of view. We’ve been busting our gut all year up in first division and been fairly competitive – there’s only been a couple scores where we really haven’t competed,” Boggabri coach Shane Rampling said.
It’s been a tough trot for the Kangaroos.
Along with Boggabri still chasing an elusive win in first grade, Rampling counted five players who had suffered season-ending injuries.
Add to that work commitments.
That’s seen a couple players pull the pin on playing for the whole year while work also affects a number of Roos’ availability on a week-to-week basis.
But while the team chops and changes, there’s been one constant throughout the season – effort.
Rampling has made comments on the players’ effort all year and he once against reiterated it this week.
“I can’t fault the boys effort. All year they've turned up,” Rampling said.
His players will turn up again in the final round with Rampling saying they’ll “definitely play this weekend” against Werris Creek.
Being at home helps. It means more shift workers will be available to play and a faithful home crowd.
“I have to say we have the best supporters in the group,” Rampling said.
“They’re supportive, vocal and we have a good following at away games as well.
“It’s a proud club and we’re definitely going to go out there on Saturday and give it everything we’ve got to get that win.”
Rampling said the Roos were “capable of matching any side on the day” but lapses where they’d drop off has hurt Boggabri all year.
The coach said the club was already looking ahead to bring more experience to the side next year to help avoid those drop off periods.
“We’ve set a goal to be a bit more proactive next year in recruiting,” Rampling said.
“We’ve got a few things in place that will hopefully come off.”
Rampling said the majority of the playing group were sticking around while a number of talented 18s would come through the ranks.
“I’ve spoken to the boys and the majority of the team are staying on next year and they realise they’ve gotta put that extra effort in next year to compete,” Rampling said.
“Not only that, we’ve also got some good 18s coming through that had a taste of first grade this year and will only be better for the experience.
“If we can bring in four or five experienced first graders, we can be a very competitive side.
“In saying all that, the 18s are running third and the girls have been playing really well. They’re always improving.
“So we’re in a good position in that sense.”