A season launch or the launchpad into a representative career?
Any way you look at the Central West colts’ first-up possibles versus probables clash at Jubilee Oval on February 4, there’s plenty on the line at Mudgee.
Dubbo’s Dean Matthews will get his first look at his 2017 under 19s squad during the inter-zone trial and he’ll be joined by NSW under 20s coaches on the sideline.
“And for these kids to play in front of those kind of coaches, it’s a big opportunity,” Matthews, who coached the Dubbo Kangaroos colts last season, said ahead of the Jubilee Oval contest.
He’s confident players will produce on such a stage, whoever turns up.
“It’s one of those age groups, you’re never really sure what you’ve got until you turn up,” he added.
“We’re letting people know now what the schedule is and we’re hoping there’s a good crop of players come and trial.”
As Matthews says, the Central West is calling for players eligible to represent the under 19s this season to play in the trial match to put their hands up for selection.
The Central West colts competition has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years with both Orange Emus and Dubbo Rhinos not forming sides in 2016.
Along with the state mentors watching the Mudgee match, Matthews will be assisted in selecting his squad by fellow Dubbo Roos identities Mark Stanford, Rob Bond and Jason Coycle.
"It’s exciting, we’re keen to get stuck in,” he said.
Keen to get a wide mix of players from the entire region, Matthews identified the Bulldogs club, back-to-back colts champions, as one he’d love to supply plenty of players.
“We’d love to have a few of those guys. There’s something in the water down there, at both CSU and the Dogs,” he said.
The Central West campaign include games against Manly, Central Coast and Sydney Uni before the Country Championships in Port Macquarie in April.
All interested players are asked to email there details to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Rob Bond on 0406 744 349 so that the possibles versus probables squads can be finalised.