Bathurst could have two clubs competing in the Western Premier League (WPL) next season, with a former Central West heavyweight expressing its desire to form a team.
Bathurst '75, who was once the region's NSW State League team before the rise of Western NSW FC, is seeking expression of interests for players to enter the region's leading soccer competition in 2022.
Mark Comerford, who coached the last ever '75 team to contest the WPL back in 2008, is hopeful there's enough interest to enter a team next year.
"There were discussions throughout the season and at the end of the season and that was from a few ex-Bathurst '75 players that were involved with Western and local association clubs," he said.
"Obviously with my connections to Bathurst '75, I asked the club if they would be keen and they're interested if there's interest from the players.
"It's essentially a matter to see if there's enough interest to get enough players to commit to playing in the competition. But it's quite early days.
"The reality is that we only had local third and fourth grade men teams, so we don't have a first grade sides like Panorama, Orange CYMS or Waratahs to pull players from who can easily move up to WPL."
Bathurst '75 was one of the original founding members of the old WPL back in 1994 and it played in ever season up until 2008, withdrawing due to a lack of numbers.
Throughout its tenure in the WPL, the Bathurst club was crowned champions on six occasions - in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2005 - making it the most successful team in the competition's history.
The WPL disbanded at the end of the 2012 season before being reformed in 2020.
Having a long affiliation with '75, Comerford said it would be great for the club to have a WPL team.
"From our club's point of view, over the years we have had a good junior base of teams and players," he said.
"We use to have senior teams in various age groups, we had Western Premier League and we had the State League team as well.
"For our club to maybe present an opportunity to play in a competition that is seen as a level above the association level, it would be great.
"We'd love to see that attract players that could potentially have a first grade team in the local Bathurst District Football competition."
If Bathurst '75 was to have a team in 2022, it would join city rivals Panorama in being the only local teams in the WPL, however, Mudgee Wolves and Lithgow Workmen's are affiliated to Bathurst District Football.
"I think Bathurst is probably big enough to have two Western Premier League sides," Comerford said.
The 10 WPL teams confirmed for 2022 are Barnstoneworth United, Dubbo Bulls, Lithgow Workmen's, Macquarie United (Dubbo), Mudgee Wolves, Orana Spurs, Orange CYMS, Orange Waratahs, Panorama and Parkes Cobras.
Trials will be at Police Paddock on Monday, November 22, at 6pm and on Sunday, November 28, at 4pm.
For more information or for the expression of interest form, visit the club's Facebook page at @bathurst75fc.
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