HE'D hoped that 2020 would mark a successful rebound to senior men's basketball, but instead it is case of time out for Bathurst Goldminers coach Matt Chapman and his talented squad.
The Basketball NSW Waratah 2 competition - essentially what was formerly known as State League - has been cancelled for 2020.
That was the competition the Goldminers had hoped to make a successful comeback in after a four-year absence from playing in a Basketball NSW senior men's league.
Chapman had assembled a squad he rated as one of the best he'd seen, with many former Goldminers returning from stints with other association teams.
Andrew Manios, Kobe Mansell and Zak Simons all made the switch from the Orange Eagles, while Michael Cox was keen to again be a Goldminer following time representing Lithgow.
Another former Lithgow Lazer in Fletcher Swift, who gained experience playing in the USA early last year, had been recruited by Chapman as well.
To not get the chance to play in 2020 has left Chapman bitterly disappointed.
"To make it happen, to go from scratch, to try and get it up and running again there was a fair bit of work was put into it," he said.
"The boys were training really well, the team was looking good. I couldn't wait to play, but unfortunately it is what it is. I was going to have a run myself as well this year.
"After all that, we're not playing, we're not real happy. It was all organised."
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Even after the news broke to Chapman and his squad - a day before they planned to recommence training - that Waratah 2 would not go ahead, the coach tried to find another option.
He asked if the Goldminers could compete in the nine-week Waratah 1 League, which would have pitted them against the best men's teams in the state such as Manly Warringah, Central Coast, Maitland Mustangs and Norths Bears.
But that plan also did not come to fruition.
"I actually asked if we could play Waratah 1 and I actually think we'd still be competitive. Unfortunately we could do that, they said it was not because they thought we couldn't, but with numbers they couldn't get us into the draw," Chapman said.
"Absolutely I thought we'd get on but nup, it's not happening.
"They are going to run a tournament, a one-weekend thing in October, which if I've still got the interest of the boys at that time we'll run a team in that. But it's not the same."
Aside from that October long weekend carnival, and under 20 state trials for those young enough, there will be no high level basketball for Chapman's squad this season.
The coach knows it is far from ideal, but also knows the Goldminers are not the only team impacted by the cancellation. He just hopes they will get their chance to shine in 2021.
"There is just local stuff now, there is no rep stuff happening for us at all now which sucks. The juniors will still have some tournaments, but yeah, we've got nothing," he said.
"It's not going to be good for them having a year off, but everyone is in the same boat I guess. Most of the boys said they would be interested for next season, so we've sort of got a head start for next year I guess."