First grade coach Tim Partridge pays tribute to Singleton Bulls committee throughout pandemic

THE COACH: Tim Partridge was due to make his long awaited debut as Singleton Bulls first grade coach on Saturday.
THE COACH: Tim Partridge was due to make his long awaited debut as Singleton Bulls first grade coach on Saturday.

Singleton Bulls first grade coach Tim Partridge should have been spending this week reviewing his season opening match of the Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union Premier 1 season.

However Rugby, like every other pastime these past few weeks, has been put on hold until further notice due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

"We got told on the Saturday morning of our trial tournament at Southern Beaches," Partridge recalled.

"I received a phone call at 7am cancelling the game due to the corona.

"They were starting to take precautionary measures and we then called time after our training session on Tuesday."

Tuesday, March 17 would mark the last time the Bulls playing group gathered in person.

Partridge still recalls the uncertainty that evening.

ADDRESSING THE TROOPS: Singleton Bulls coach Tim Partridge spoke to his players last month.

ADDRESSING THE TROOPS: Singleton Bulls coach Tim Partridge spoke to his players last month.

"Everyone was starting to talk about it and remained optimistic and we were a week out from a trial against Terrigal," he recalled.

"Terrigal were coached by Alan Gaffney and we were going to have an afternoon game which was going to launch into some festivities and then the following week was going to be our season opener."

Singleton was due to host Nelson Bay on Saturday afternoon.

On the field, it was a chance for Partridge to unleash recruits, welcome back returning talents and, if all went to plan, cast an end to the side's ten game losing streak.

The team was in a competitive position.

WAITING: Singleton Bulls players manager Matt Staff pictured during a committee meeting last year.

WAITING: Singleton Bulls players manager Matt Staff pictured during a committee meeting last year.

"Its very disappointing, anyone involved in any rugby association knows that this is put together by volunteers," Partridge concluded.

"I don't receive any financial benefits for the time that I've put in and nor do any of the players.

"Rugby is one of those games that gives a lot more to players than the financial return for a week in week out game.

IN THE ROOMS: James Bennett, Tim Partridge and Matt Staff pictured last year.

IN THE ROOMS: James Bennett, Tim Partridge and Matt Staff pictured last year.

"Then you talk about the committee who have done so much work, the announcement of the grand stand and all the things that go on behind the scenes.

"One of our key goals we were looking for were players who were willing to stay in Singleton and fall in love with the community.

"There was a lot to look forward to for the season."