Tucked away in among the ever-growing Mudgee community lives a former Manly Warringah Sea Eagles talent by the name of Stuart Davis.
For 'The Bug', who moved to Mudgee with his wife in 2000, his fall into playing professional rugby league was anything but planned.
"I was working for Derek Moritz who was the third grade Manly coach at the time. He needed a hand for the trial games, and by the end of the day, I had played four games for Manly," Stuart said.
"The next week I was told to go back and start playing grade football, that was in 1980.
"I never seriously thought I'd play grade football but I knew I had enough of an ability to play the game, that's all."
Having a brother who signed with the Sea Eagles in 1979 and a mother who was "a mad football person", the winger couldn't shy away from what he was born to do - live and breathe rugby league.
"I've always been a fan of Manly, I was a local junior. It was good to play for the team I've always supported," he said.
Davis' first grade debut was in 1981 at the round 11 game held at Brookvale Oval against the Eels "which was really good, we beat them".
Despite signing with Eastern Suburbs in 1983, Stuart returned to Manly a year later which is where he remained, seeing out his footy career in '89.
During his post, Davis scored 39 tries in 97 games during the 80s for Manly Warringah.
"Back in those days, we didn't get much money but it was about the love of the game. I had a full time job, I just did it for the enjoyment of the game," Stuart said.
"I played with some great players back in those days. Max Krilich, Terry Randall, Paul Vautin, Noel Cleal, Dessie Hasler, Dale Shearer, Michael O'Connor, all those sorts of guys."
While the Eagles' round six game, to be played at Glen Willow Stadium, is a boon for the town, for Stuart, it will be a chance to reminisce with some former teammates.
"It's good to have Manly come up. They did come for a trial game in 1983, that year I was with Eastern Suburbs, but in '83 Manly had a trial game against the Mudgee Dragons," Davis said.
"It will be good to catch up with the old boys, to see all the ex players will be nice.
"Hopefully we can win, we haven't started well but I know Des, he's a good coach and the players all have ability."
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will host the Gold Coast Titans on April 17 at Glen Willow Stadium.
Kick-off will be at 3pm following the curtain raiser at 12.30pm where the Western Rams will go head-to-head with the Great Northern Tigers (u17s).
Gates will open at 12pm.
Tickets can be purchased from 123tix.com.au.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: