The Gunnedah Bulldogs hit the training paddock for the first time in 2021 last week and coach Mick Schmiedel couldn't help but feel the numbers were "a little bit disappointing".
"Just over a dozen" players were there for that first training run and Schmiedel has a simple message to the players: get to training.
"The chatter on messenger group is pretty good. We've just gotta turn that presence on messenger to presence on the paddock," Schmiedel said.
"It's a bit like the keyboard warriors - plenty to say behind the screen but it's about getting out on the paddock."
While the Gunnedah coach wants more players at training, he said he's far from panicking.
"Realistically, we didn't have pre-season training runs before this and I think everybody is probably in the same boat," Schmiedel said.
"Numbers haven't been bad I just want more, I'm selfish."
Schmiedel said the Bulldogs are yet to lock down any signings for 2021 but confirmed a couple losses.
"A couple blokes have left. Regan Walsh, hooker-half in 2019, we'll be missing him," Schmiedel said.
"Blake Huddleston's not going to be here. He moved back to Newcastle but I don't count him as a loss.
"He was going to be a big part of our plans. He only played the one trial game. But it is a gap to fill.
"I sent Matt Brady a message to touch base and at this stage he's not interested in footy which is a shame because he had a pretty good 2019. He's gone down the touch footy path at the moment.
"From my point of view, it disappoints me because I take that kind of stuff a little personally - am I not a good enough coach?"
The Bulldogs' men's pre-season training continues Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm at Donnelly Fields.
Meanwhile, the ladies league tag will kick off training on February 4 from 6pm at Donnelly Fields.