GETTING the team together for pre-season training can be a challenging task but at CSU Mungoes it's an even trickier proposition.
As the club wait to see what form this year's Mid West competition takes they've been doing what they can to get valuable minutes of training together, but they're yet to do so as a complete team.
Many students are yet to make their way back to Bathurst after on-campus classes were stopped amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Numbers are starting to lift in the Mungoes camp but there's still some time before a full squad can get stuck into contact training.
Mungoes coach Rhys Power has been doing what fitness work he can with the limited numbers but said there's still a positive buzz around the group at Bathurst.
"We started up last Tuesday. Numbers have been pretty small because a lot of our blokes are back at their home towns," he said.
"We'e got a car of five coming back from Newcastle next week for their first training run. That'll be their first run back since pre-season. There's also a couple of guys from Orange chasing a run.
"We've been getting around 15 or so, which isn't too bad. It's not so bad having less at the moment anyway, with all the rules around social distancing."
The defending New Era champs haven't resumed contact training and have been doing what the can with fitness work.
Power is looking to forward to being able to step training to the next stage.
"We haven't picked up a footy yet since we came back so I think the boys are starting to get a bit cranky at me because all I'm doing is making them run," he said.
"I feel like we're a bit unlucky with not having a home town base of players but a lot of the guys are still here and we should be fine. I don't see us having any problems."
Mid West organisers are yet to confirm the status of Group 10 players within the competition but with no premier league or first division competition going ahead in 2020 it's left those players looking for a place to get their football fix.
Power wasn't going to name names but he confirmed the club had been approached by some of those players.
"There have been a few younger reggies players that have hit us up, who are involved in the uni in some way, but we're not going out of our way to talk to any [Group 10] boys," he said.
"I think that takes away from the competition is about. I can understand why some guys would want to come and have a run. A year away from footy is pretty ordinary.
"I've just taken a back step away from that stuff, and I'm just focusing on coaching the boys at training."
The status of those players will be decided in a Wednesday meeting.