BRAD Schultz is determined to ensure 2020 is not a season of lost opportunity for the Singleton Greyhounds.
After the Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League competition was postponed this month, primarily due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, the club president and his committee sought to seek other options further afield.
And, it appears that hard work has paid off.
The Greyhounds will now contest the Newcastle-Hunter divisional competition, which kicks off on July 18.
"Everyone's looking forward to it," Schultz said.
"While we're always keen to win titles, our number one priority was getting our members, senior and junior, playing football again.
"Luckily, we had volunteers on deck who made that happen.
"The under-18s was also a big concern for the club.
"If we don't play, we could lose those young guys to other codes.
"At the end of the day, Singleton not only boasts an impressive nursery, but they're the future of the Greyhounds.
"We needed to look after them.
"NSW Rugby League promised to find us a spot - and they did."
Singleton will field four teams, with firsts and reserves tackling A and C division respectively, women's league tag lining up in B grade and the under-18s joining the Greta Branxton Colts and Denman Devils in the 10-round format.
"It's great news for the club," Schultz said.
"We realise the logistics will be tough, with four sides playing at four different venues.
"However, it's better than nothing.
"Unfortunately, a few players have been ruled out, due to work and family commitments, as most of the matches are scheduled for Saturdays.
"But, our numbers remain positive, as we started training again last week.
"And, the boys are keen.
"They'll face different opposition [in 2020] in a very strong competition.
"That should hold us in good stead in Group 21 next year."
Even though the new-look draw won't be unveiled until Monday, July 6, Schultz was quick to express his gratitude to the club's many sponsors.
"They've been behind us all the way, along with the local community," he said.
"We can't thank them enough.
"PPK, Pirtek and the Albion Hotel are fantastic, while All-Pro is an amazing company.
"They came on board in our time of need; and provided sanitisers and disinfectant to get us through this [COVID-19] period.
"That kind of support is brilliant.
"The Greyhounds took a real business risk deciding to play on.
"We know there are no crowds allowed at the moment but I'm confident they'll return before the end of the season.
"Hopefully, everything will fall into place."
Schultz also acknowledged the effort of Doug Spencer, who coordinated the Greyhounds' COVID-19 safety plan and procedures for NSW Rugby League and Singleton Council.
"He put his hand up - and did a terrific job," he said.
Singleton will officially launch its season at the Albion Hotel on Friday, July 10.
"All players, sponsors and supporters are invited to attend," Schultz said.
"However, we'll need to finalise numbers due to public coronavirus restrictions."