THE loss of Cowra Magpies from this year's upcoming Group 10 premier league competition will come as a shock to many players, one of them being Jeremy Gordon.
The former Magpie, who now plays for Bathurst Panthers, had been a pivotal piece of the Cowra attack over different stages of the past decade.
As he was looking forward to a round three meeting with his old club in May, Gordon said it was disappointing to hear the Magpies had opted to step back due to being unable to field a competitive first grade side.
"It's a sad day to see Cowra Magpies out of the comp," he said.
"Cowra's juniors always seem to be strong, from under 8s all the way through the 16s. I know they might lose boys to NRL clubs or others lose interest but Cowra rugby league has always been strong.
"It's a sad day for me because I played there and my old man played there and I pretty much grew up on that oval. It's never a good thing when comps are losing teams."
Gordon had led the Magpies to the 2014 grand final, where they went down to St Pat's.
"Winning a grand final is tough but making one is just as hard, and it was a big thing for the town," he said.
"It's tough losing on the last day of the year but they could be happy with what they achieved for a small town."
Magpies will still be fielding a team in reserve grade, under 18s and league tag.
Cowra have become the second team to step back from Group 10 premier league in as many seasons after Oberon Tigers announced they would be playing in the Mid West Cup last year.
Gordon said the drive to play must still be high among Cowra's top echelon of players.
"Cowra's got some great footy players over there. What's Warren Williams doing? I'm sure any team would be happy to have a player like him," Gordon said.
"That'd be two years now that some of those blokes will have missed out on footy. They have to play something."
Cowra boss Marc McLeish had said earlier this week that it was becoming an uphill battle for the club to retain players
"Unfortunately when they finish school they are faced with decisions that generally take them away from the town," he said.
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