IN the past year the Quirindi Lions have enjoyed a surge of positivity and a big factor in the surge is the club's first grade captain Tom Grant.
After moving to the region three seasons ago, Grant has made an impact on the club's senior and junior ranks by offering his guidance to the next generation of Lions players as coach of an under-18 team, which plays on Friday nights.
"I got involved with the junior team through the Quirindi High School and it is really starting to gain some popularity," Grant told the Namoi Valley Independent.
"Initially, I got involved with an under-16 team a couple of years ago and it has been great to see those younger guys continue on and come through to the under-18 team.
"Another big plus is that it is not just guys from the high school either, we are starting to see players get involved from right across the community, which is promising."
It has been a rocky start to the Central North season for the Lions, losing their first two games to the Pirates and Barraba.
However, Grant believes a win is "not too far away".
"We are still a pretty young side but there is a really great feeling around the club at the moment.
"Everyone is really keen to get better and with the introduction of the women's side there is a really great atmosphere around the club as well."
Hailing from Sydney originally, Grant said there was "a different dynamic" to playing rugby in the country.
"It is very different playing for Quirindi than it is playing for a Sydney club," he said.
"Given there aren't too many sporting teams out this way the whole community really gets behind our club.
"I think that's what's really driving the great feeling we have around the club at the moment.
"People are coming back to the club because we are creating a feeling within them that they don't want to miss out on something special and that's what this year is for us - special."
The Lions will be looking to bounce back from their recent defeats when they play host to Moree on Saturday.
"It will be a big task for us this weekend against Moree," Grant said.
"We will just be focusing on doing the little things well and aim to pick up a win."