HOW do you transform a playing group that is used to fighting to avoid relegation into one which can talk about finals and promotion?
It is a question that Western NSW FC has not managed to provide an answer for in recent seasons and come 2020, first grade coach Mark Rooke knows it is a question which will be posed once more.
Yet that has not deterred Rooke's hunger to find success or his faith that Western NSW FC can compete with some of the stronger clubs which compete under the Football NSW banner.
The first step in his mission will be to forge an outfit which can be one of the frontrunners in the 2020 National Premier Leagues 4 competition.
"Look it's disappointing to get relegated from NPL3, there's no doubt about that. It was always going to be a fight this season with five going down and to be honest, the other four teams that are going down - there's some cracking teams in that," he said.
"It's going to be a really tough competition next year.
"There's no doubting we are capable of playing NPL3 and higher, but at this point in time we are not ready for that. We need to be realistic about where we currently are and we need to be realistic that we still have a lot of hard work to do if we still want to be competitive in NPL4.
"We can't just say because we've dropped down we'll be winning here, there and everywhere, we've got to have the right attitude and some really good pre-season sessions in place."
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Guiding Western sides through that pre-season will be Rooke and fellow coaches Josh Ward (under 20s) and Clint Mutton (under 18s).
Rooke feels having strong squads in the 18s and 20s is crucial to seeing first grade becoming more competitive.
This season Western's top side managed just three wins and two draws through 26 games in NPL3 to finish with the wooden spoon.
"The last two years we've just missed out on the semis with the under 18s, so the nucleus is there to progress forward with the 20s then first grade," he said.
"You've got to be able to develop them quickly for us, because we are generally moving those kids forward to first grade quickly and trying to make them stay around for a little bit so we have a good first grade team and can try and gain promotion.
"That's always difficult for us, but we'll certainly try."
While a back injury will keep the experienced Ward from playing in the first grade side, Rooke said he will be a big asset to Western's men's coaching staff after two seasons guiding the women's team.
Likewise he feels Mutton's experience will serve the under 18s well.
"Josh just got his B licence, he's got experience at State League level coaching with the women and with playing, he's played at NPL1 level. So what more can you ask?," he said.
"You are having a person step in with some great experience and who will help provide a great progression for the kids to prepare them for first grade.
"Clint, he's another guy with State League experience and understands what it takes to play there - he's not someone coming in without any experience, he's been there and done that."