THE wait is finally over.
After a period of uncertainty, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Singleton Junior Rugby League will return to the playing paddock next month.
And, that's great news for the organisation's 24 teams, according to president Kevin Lomax.
"It's very positive," he said.
"We have all the COVID-19 controls in place - and everyone's been receptive about it.
"We're ready to go in 2020."
The young Greyhounds will line-up in the boys' under-6s (three sides), under-7s (three), under-8s (two), under-9s (three), under-10s (two), under-11s, under-12s, under-13s, under-14s (two), under-15s and under-16s, as well as the girls' under-12, under-14 (two) and under-16 league tag competitions.
Round one kicks off on Saturday, July 18, with the club's Cook Park headquarters set to host at least two home games during the season.
"We're delighted with the numbers on board," Lomax said.
"2019 was a record year for [Singleton] registrations, but we're only just behind that figure.
"So, that's extremely pleasing.
"It'll be a shorter competition, just 12 weeks.
"However, some footy is better than no footy for the kids.
"The under-6 to under-11 teams will remain in the Upper Hunter [region], the under-12s will play in the Maitland comp, and the under-13s and older age groups will be part of the Newcastle-based format.
"I believe we have the talent and resilience to still do well.
"I'm expecting a successful year on and off the field, despite the slow start."
Joining Lomax on the executive is Mitchell Nott (senior vice-president), Gavin Duncan (junior vice-president), Jenny Rudder (secretary), Janeen Grant (treasurer) and Mel Jones (registrar).
"The committee's been working hard over recent weeks to prepare for our return," he said.
"We reviewed the requirements set out by NSWRL for it to become a reality.
"And, I don't think the controls are restrictive.
"For example, we've staggered the training days - and allotted certain areas for the squads - and scheduled longer breaks between sessions.
"We developed a safety management plan, too.
"Our fields are also looking a treat; in fact, the best we've seen for some time.
"The grass is thick and lush.
"[Singleton] Council deserves plenty of praise for its effort.
"The new irrigation system has worked wonderfully to ensure everything is up to scratch.
"July 18 can't come soon enough."