2021 was the year for change for the Mudgee Wolves and while it may have been cut short, it's something the club hope to capitalise on next season.
For the first time in 24 years, the new-look Mudgee Wolves, led by president Chris Clegg, entered a men's team into the Western Premier League (WPL) tournament, and while they didn't lead the pack, for them it wasn't about what the scoreboard reflected.
"Considering we haven't fielded a WPL team for a very long time, we were surprised at the quality of players we attracted," Clegg said.
"Although we didn't necessarily get the results on the scoreboard, we more than held our own on the field.
"As for the women, they are just on fire. They're such a good, talented bunch of girls.
"Most, if not all, that played this year are going to play next year which is good. Everyone is already wanting to do a pre-season now so we believe we have the momentum."
The club's juniors also had a 'fantastic' year after the local Western Youth League teams impressed, with the under 12 girls taking their respective title.
"Our Western Youth League teams did really, really well," Clegg said.
"The under 12 girls won the whole competition which was fantastic, whereas in previous years, some of the teams would do well but get destroyed by Dubbo, they only just beat us in games this year."
The Mudgee Wolves made the announcement to bin the remainder of the junior season on September 7 for fears lockdown wouldn't lift in time.
"Obviously it was more of a matter of when COVID was going to come back, not if, and unfortunately it came too close so the season had to be cancelled," Clegg said.
"We wanted to give it as long as we could if something was unforeseen but they won't ease restrictions to anywhere near that level until later this year when the vaccination rates are higher.
"Considering the season didn't run last year, the numbers were still very healthy and high, it's fantastic."
One of Clegg's priority for this season was to upskill coaches or parents looking to get involved, but due to COVID, things were put on hold. That is until next season, COVID-pending.
"The quality of coaches and number of parents wanting to become coaches is there so it all looks good for next year," he said.
"That was my focus, I wanted to upskill parents to be able to coach. But because of COVID, we couldn't bring anyone up to help us because of what was going on so hopefully next year."
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