EXPERIENCED Riverina footballer Joe Scott believes Cootamundra would fit into the Farrer League reserve grade competition well.
Scott revealed a number of Cootamundra players have already started training for next season amid the excitement of a possible return to the Farrer League.
Cootamundra has lodged an application to return to AFL Riverina with the view of fielding a team in the Farrer League reserve grade competition, as well as two netball teams.
Scott, who has played at East Wagga-Kooringal and Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, is the coach of Cootamundra. He said there was a lot of excitement surrounding the potential move.
"The playing group is very excited. There is messages getting around (Thursday) morning on the group chat wanting to know what can we do," Scott said.
"We've already started training. The boys are real keen. There is a real keen group of five or six of them that just want to get in and have a go.
"All of their mates work or live in Wagga so they're looking forward to getting back to that rivalry where you're playing against a mate on a Saturday, where as when you're playing in Canberra, you don't know, you rock up and play them, and they don't even hang around for a beer or anything. You don't see them again."
Scott spent the 2019 season in reserve grade at EWK, going on to win best-on-ground in the Farrer League grand final.
He believes Cootamundra would be a strong reserve grade team.
"Yeah, with what I've seen, especially in 2019 when I was in the ressies with East Wagga, it is a very similar side to that year where you've got different stages of footballers scattered through your side," he said.
"From not having played a game at all before to some guys who have played over 200 games for the club.
"The top end of guys at Cootamundra, they'd easily walk into a first grade side in the Farrer League and be star players. It's the small-town depth that we have, that I think will level it out.
"This year just gone, we relied heavily on six or seven players to perform each week and if one or two of them are away, or busy, you really notice it in the side because you don't have that depth at the other end."
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Scott hopes Farrer League clubs accept Cootamundra in, even with three teams, for the good of football.
"It's just something for a small town, like Coota, we're just trying to develop footballers there in a town where we're secluded. We're 40 or 50 minutes away from Temora, an hour from Wagga, an hour and a half from Canberra," he said.
"We're just trying to develop players to take that next step. Wagga is where we used to be so we want to be back in the Farrer League to develop the side and the club.
"We haven't had netball either and we want to develop that because not having it at Cootamundra, I've noticed it's such a big difference with families and the social side. The development of that alone will add a lot to the Cootamundra community.
"We knew about this change coming and we wanted to be apart of that."
Scott said a player like Phil Bird would be a standout in the Farrer League, while the likes of Joel Pearson and Blake Basham would also fit in well.
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