Canowindra Tigers' centenary year celebrations on hold but team is 'raring to go' for Woodbridge Cup 2020

ON HOLD: Regan Hughes and Canowindra's 2020 campaign and centenary year celebrations look like being held in 2021. Photo: RS WILLIAMS

ON HOLD: Regan Hughes and Canowindra's 2020 campaign and centenary year celebrations look like being held in 2021. Photo: RS WILLIAMS

The Canowindra Tigers had grand designs for the 2020 season, a winter that marks the rugby league club's 100th year.

New coaches, an improved squad and, as is normally the case for small town teams, a parochial fan base counting down the days until that first ball is kicked - the anticipation for the new Woodbridge Cup season at Tom Clyburn Oval was palpable.

But the coronavirus has crashed that party, and Tigers president Andrew Whatman says almost all of the club's centenary celebrations will likely have to be held in 2021.

He says the club is trying to organise a date in October to celebrate the milestone, but with social distancing and lockdown laws still in force he's not sure if that timeframe will come to fruition.

"That's just the way things have gone," he said.

"At this stage, with the restrictions in place we haven't gotten together a lot. We've spoken on the phone and we're trying to see what happens come October.

Andrew Whatman (left) with Jayden Brown and Dan Barclay

Andrew Whatman (left) with Jayden Brown and Dan Barclay

"But in the end we're the same as everyone, and we're governed by the same authorities, and until we hear from them we don't know what we'll do."

"We'd like to think there will be some football."

This Sunday the Tigers would have hosted Peak Hill in their second home game of the season, with coaches Dean Murray and Luke Branighan at the helm.

Numbers at pre-season training were strong, and with the likes of Regan Hughes being called up to play for Western Division the cattle at Canowindra in 2020 was more than decent.

Instead, Whatman's now working with vastly different cattle.

"I really miss being around the guys and doing all of things we'd do as a footy club.

"You get a bit lost in winter without footy but I'm getting plenty of jobs done on the farm," he said, having been involved at Canowindra for the last 15 years.

All the guys, the players, they're all still keen to go. We can't wait for it to start, or just to hear a decision. We just have to sit tight

Andrew Whatman

Whatman said he'd love for one full round of the Woodbridge Cup competition to be played, at a minimum.

He said he'd been in constant communication with cup president Andrew Pull.

"I've spoken to Pully regularly, but he's not sure either. There's nothing concrete.

"Pully's a terrific guy to talk to, he's mad on rugby league and would love to see it start as soon as possible," Whatman added.

"All the guys, the players, they're all still keen to go.

"We can't wait for it to start, or just to hear a decision.

"We just have to sit tight," Whatman said.