THE Gunnedah Bulldogs under-18 side has sent a message to the entire Group 4 under-18 competition with an impressive trial match victory over Mudgee.
Nearly all of the side's young guns starred in the 22-10 victory over the dragons and impressed coach Brad Harris.
"The boys were just fantastic to be honest," Harris told the Namoi Valley Independent.
"They have been training since the first week in November and have only really stopped for two weeks over Christmas.
"I think there's a real drive in this team for this year."
Harris said the group was aiming to improve on a "slightly disappointing" 2018 campaign.
"To be honest, I wasn't really surprised with how the boys went," he said.
"The older guys like Liam Ireland, Jasper Thomas and the two Turnball boys are really providing strong leadership.
"I think that is what they lacked a bit last season and with that direction this season, they will go far."
The Bulldogs will now turn their attention a trial match in Gunnedah against Dubbo on April 13.
"At this stage our first-grade, ladies league tag and under-18 teams will be playing on April 13," Harris said.
"It should be a really good day for the club and should hopefully give us a pretty good idea of where we are at heading into the season."