WHEN Marcus Burrell first laced up his boots for CSU as an 18-year-old in 2014, he probably had little idea he was about to form a bond with a rugby union club he now says he's "in for life."
It's a bond he's glad and proud to have, so when CSU needed a new president for the upcoming season Burrell was happy to take the job on.
"Josh [Buttenshaw] had been president for three years and he stepped down, he's moving on, so I've stepped up to the role and I'm looking forward to it," Burrell said.
"It's one of those clubs that when you're in, you're in for life. That's why I think it's so deep with the old boys, when those guys come back for old boys day we hear stories about the premiership back in 2004 and even earlier, stories from when the club first came together.
"It's good to see that the Mitchell club has gone so deep into history. We are just trying to keep the club going and build the club."
After being part of the 2013 Blayney Rams side which went through the regular southern zone season undefeated but lost to Molong by a point on grand final day, Burrell made the switch to CSU.
He's had just one season off since 2014 and has achieved plenty while being part of the students' front row. He gained Central West colts selection in 2015, he was part of the 2019 outfit which posted a remarkable 30-29 grand final win over Narromine and he's scored a load of morale boosting tries.
Burrell has been through the tough times with CSU as well - he played in a number of Blowes Cup games where the students were outclassed by teams with greater depth and more experience - but he feels the club is now headed in the right direction.
Even last season when COVID-19 meant CSU classes went online and many students were no longer based in Bathurst, the club still managed to field a first grade, second grade and women's team.
The women's outfit went on to win the North Cup and while the first XV was unable to defend their premiership title, they still enjoyed some highlights.
"We had probably a slump there for a few years, but I think we're on the up now and I think with a bit of success it will keep growing. Hopefully it keeps going and we can see where it progresses," Burrell said.
"I think we do rate that [season 2020] as a success, we ended up finishing fourth, we knocked off Mudgee who made the grand final in the final round game.
"I think we had the effort there all year in first and second grade, we just lacked the numbers. We still pulled results right through the end and the girls just bought it home at the end.
"We had I think 70 people in a COVID year which was a bonus for us and hopefully we can push for more this year."
Burrell reports that CSU's numbers are looking healthy for the upcoming season and the club is currently on the hunt for coaching staff.
"We've got a few people who are interested in coaching, but we thought we'd put the feelers out there and see if we could get some help, because you can never have enough help when you're a uni club," he said.
"We've got good numbers so far and with a bit of luck hopefully uni goes back on campus and we get some more people coming down."