David Partridge's decision to step down as Gunnedah cricket president two seasons ago was, in part, fuelled by his desire to rebuild Kookaburras' tattered first-grade reputation.
He had said that he and his fellow cricket association board members, fellow Kookaburras players David Callaghan and Troy Sands, had "neglected" their club while running senior cricket for two seasons.
Fast forward to now and it is mission compete: Kookaburras are into the first-grade grand final against Albion this weekend after shocking Court House in the semis.
Adding to Partridge's pleasure over Kookas' top-grade revival is the club's second-grade side's dominance this season (they have lost one match) in booking a grand final appointment against Albion at Kitchener Park on Sunday.
Partridge will lead the side as they chase their first title in "five or six seasons". "We've had two years of rebuilding," he said. "We've dug in the last two years … We've recruited a lot of young kids and, you know, got 'em going good."
Partridge described Kookaburras making the first-grade grand final as "unbelievable". They had "improved out of sight", he said.
He said the loss of veteran paceman Troy Sands to Old Boys following the 2016-17 season was a "big thing" for Kookas.
"We've thrown a lot of kids into the deep end in first grade," he said. "Thanks to Cameron Milne, Shayne Riordan and Paddy Paul, who have stuck by them and worked hard with them and created a fairly handy team."
Partridge, who has been at Kookaburras for about two decades, cannot recall the club being represented in both the first and second-grade grand finals.
He believes that Kookaburras are favourites to win the second-grade grand final, but noted: "I never look at Albion as a weak link. They've always got a fairly handy team.
"[Albion] captain Ryan Cooper is outstanding with the bat every week. We've got to be switch on with Ryan."