IT'S UNLIKELY that the Blayney Bears will field a first grade Peter McDonald Premiership team in 2023, but Group 10 president Linore Zamparini said the club will be offered as much help as possible.
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At the Group 10 annual general meeting in Bathurst on Sunday, Blayney was the only club to not nominate four teams for a combined Western-wide competition in 2023.
Instead, Zamparini said the club is going "all out" to field a team in reserve grade, under 18s and league tag.
"Every club nominated except for Blayney of course," he said.
"It's a long shot but they're trying to get under 18s, league tag and reserve grade.
"The feeling at the meeting is when they come back and confirm what players they've got, we'll have a look at the competition structure and see where we can fit them in."
Zamparini said Group 10 will do whatever it can to support Blayney.
"You support all the clubs and you could pull Oberon into the same boat. Both Blayney and Oberon were two terrific clubs throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s," he said.
"Whatever we can do to build them up and get them back into first division of Group 10, we'll do it.
"I think Blayney's juniors are the issue at the moment. When I say it's an issue, their juniors only go up to under 12s-14s. They've still got a few more years to rebuild their clubs."
Zamparini said no Group 10 club will be punished if they can't field teams in all four grades.
"We as a board are here to promote and foster rugby league. I can't see how you could do the club for being short on one team," he said.
"What about the three other teams? What do you do? Do you let them go?
"Our stance is that if a club can't field, let's say a league tag team or a reserve grade team, we're very happy to allow them to stay in the competition."
Blayney fielded just a reserve grade team in 2022, which finished third during the regular season, before bowing out in the semi-finals to Lithgow Workies.
Blayney played Group 10 first grade from 1974-2001 and 2013-2019, winning five grand finals: 1977, 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1998.
The Bears also won reserve grade titles in 1978, 1987 and 1999, an under 18s premiership in 1983 and a league tag grand final in 2016.
When Blayney has previously withdrawn from Group 10, it's played in the now defunct Mid West Cup, which the likes of CSU Mungoes and Oberon Tigers played in as recently as 2021, before moving to the Woodbridge Cup in 2021.
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