The newly formed Parkes Cobras officially introduced their squad, and kit, on Saturday night, with the footballers in purple set to begin their season at Woodward Oval this Saturday afternoon.
Committee Member and player, Adam Parker, was full of optimism ahead of the season, highlighting the need to build a strong club culture first and foremost to make sure the club would be a strong force in the town and wider region for the years to come.
"We're a brand new club so our culture is incredibly important for attracting a fan base, recruiting and ensuring our local grassroots are strong," says Adam.
"We have to strike while the iron is hot with other sports still on hiatus. A fenced off area, and the ability of people to watch from their cars means there are no limits to how many spectators we can accommodate, and we would love to see as many locals as possible down to support us.
"This is the first time in a very long time Woodward Oval has had a winter sport, and the council have been superb in helping us getting the necessary grants for goal posts and PA system so it's a really exciting time for football in Parkes," says Adam.
Head coach Meghan Kempsonhas been a godsend for the club, with Adam full of admiration for the 23-year-old coaching prodigy.
"Some of the things Meghan is teaching the boys is blowing their minds. They've never seen the level of technical expertise she is providing and she is a huge coup for the club."
It has been an unusual preparation for the Cobras given the COVID-19 pandemic; which meant the club trained for seven weeks at the start of the year, squeezing in their first, and only, trial match in March before COVID-19 measures cruelled the training program.
"We have only been allowed to run contact training as of this coming Wednesday, which means we are going into our first ever game with just one full training under our belts. We know we are the underdogs, especially early in the season as we blow out the cobwebs, but we would love to challenge for the semi-finals this season," said a bullish Adam.
It will be the first time in eight years that there will be a regional football tournament in the Central West, with a 14 round season set to take place in just 11 weeks. The hectic schedule means there will be some matches held on a Wednesday night, in addition to a double header. The top four will fight it out in the semi-finals before the winner is crowned at the Grand final on Saturday September 26.
Don't forget to get down to Woodward Oval at 3pm this Saturday to support the Cobras in their first ever match!