With Western's borders set for their biggest shift in nearly a century of rugby league, Woodbridge Cup president Andrew Pull says his competition is always willing to take on new clubs.
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The 2021 Cup premiership will dip back down to nine after Burrangong Bears opted to drop back to the George Tooke Shield ahead of next winter.
The Bears' return to the Woodbridge Cup didn't eventuate, with COVID-19 putting an end to the 2020 Woodbridge Cup season.
The Bears' departure, though, leaves Molong, Manildra, Eugowra, Canowindra, Trundle, Peak Hill, Grenfell and Condobolin in the frame for 2021, while Cargo will return to Woodbridge after playing in the mid-west competition throughout 2020.
The Rams region is set to undergo a considerable shake-up in the next 18 months, with the NSWRL One State Strategic Plan outlining a plan to restructure the state into six zones.
That plan has resulted in a push to merge both Group 10 and Group 11, but not all clubs are convinced the move will work.
Pull, the convener of the hugely successful tiny-town premiership that hugs the southern border of both of Western's major group competitions, said the Woodbridge committee has always shown a willingness to accept new clubs, taking on Manildra and Molong in the last five years to boost the Cup's competitiveness and supporter base.
The door is always open. We'd never turn clubs away.- Woodbridge Cup boss Andrew Pull
"The door is always open," Pull said.
"We'd never turn clubs away. The decision is up to them. Clubs make the decision and we do what they think is best."
The Woodbridge Cup annual general meeting will be held on Wednesday night. Pull is expecting the 2020 committee to be reinstated ahead of 2021.
Alongside Pull, Erin McCann (secretary), Stephen O'Byrne (treasurer), Peter Seale, Sue Herridge, Andrew Whatman and Barry Shean are expected to help steer the ship in 2021.
Pull admits the running of the Western Women's Rugby League competition has meant his focus has shifted from the men's competition throughout October and November, but looking ahead to next winter he's hopeful more clubs will field youth league sides.
"It's always great to grow, but I think it's also about consolidating what we have, and I would like to see the definite five or six under 18s teams we've had increase up to maybe 8. That'd be great," he said.
"It gives the clubs we have a future, having that line of players coming through."
Pull said it was disappointing to lose a side like Burrangong, but the George Tooke Shield, run by the Canberra Rugby League, "just suits them".
But Pull expects the remaining nine clubs, including the Blue Heelers after a short cameo in the mid-west title race during COVID-19, to hit the ground running in 2021.
"I hope so ... I've been in touch with a few of the clubs and lots of interest ahead of the new year," he said.
The Woodbridge Cup AGM is on Wednesday night.
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