THE draw is still a work in progress, but Mid West League president Dallas Booth has every confidence that season 2021 will be packed with highlights and fiercely contested games.
At this stage the season is set to commence on April 10 and most likely the men's cup premiership will feature seven clubs as was the case in 2020.
But there have been changes.
Having made the switch to the Mid West League last season after the Woodbridge Cup was cancelled due to COVID-19, Cargo returns to its regular competition for 2021.
The 2018 premiers Blackheath had indicated it would be keen to return, but the Blackcats' comeback has not come to fruition, while a lack of players has forced Orange Barbarians to withdraw after 11 years in the Mid West League.
But the Portland Colts have returned after a 12-month absence and Booth expects all the other clubs from last year's premiership - CSU, Oberon, Lithgow Bears, Kandos Waratahs and Orange Warriors to participate in 2021 as well.
Booth said they are most likely to opt for a 12-round draw in which each team would play each other twice, but they could explore a 10-round competition with possible a representative game against Woodbridge Cup slotted in.
"We've been working on a bit of a draw, but you know you can do one up and if a team pulls out or another team joins us we'd have to start again. So it could be a little bit off," he said.
"But we have set dates so our knockout will be the 27th of March, CSU will be hosting that. Then round one will be two weeks after that."
Though the final draw is yet to be published, Booth can't help but be excited over the prospect of what the new season will bring.
The Oberon Tigers outfit he coaches are keen to go back-to-back, season 2020 runners-up CSU have started pre-season training earlier than usual and the other clubs have also worked on their rosters.
"Portland are not only back in, but they'll have a very strong roster. They'll have a very strong side which is only good for the league. Kyle Willmott and Jake Gale are both great blokes and they'll be great coaches. They've brought a few blokes with them on deck too," Booth said.
"We've got CSU keen as beans, hopefully they'll have a good influx of players that come through as first years, but they've also got an awesome core there to begin with.
"Warriors are going to improve. Their first year together they were only one game off the grand final and let's face it, they were only a whisker away from beating us and being there.
"With another pre-season, another year together they'll only get better.
"Kandos and Bears, from what I've heard they've both got some new players as well, so hopefully they'll improve too.
"So we're expecting a very even comp which is good. I hope we can have something similar to last year and build on that."