'More compelling to come and watch': Mid West has a player mix opportunity

MARQUEE MEN: Dallas Booth (middle) thinks Mid-west Cup clubs would benefit from players like Jackson Brien (left) and Blake Fitzpatrick.
MARQUEE MEN: Dallas Booth (middle) thinks Mid-west Cup clubs would benefit from players like Jackson Brien (left) and Blake Fitzpatrick.

"SOME players just love footy and need footy."

Those were the words of a passionate Wallerawang Landscaping Cup president as Dallas Booth staked claims for a sensible mix of Group 10 top graders in this year's Mid West Cup.

And he's not just trying to push for players from Oberon to join his Tigers, he thinks all the sides would benefit from a healthy mix of top-flight talent, adding that the opportunity to play alongside the region's best players would be a once in-a-career opportunity for some of the blokes who've never set foot out of the second-tier competition before.

Not only that, Booth thinks the spotlight placed on his tournament in 2020 will be an unprecedented one and that clubs should be trying to maximise the level of talent on their sides in order to get more fans at the grounds.

"A couple of those players on each team will make the games more compelling to come and watch," he said.

"It gives lesser players a chance to develop alongside some really high quality players."

It's a loaded topic to say the least and Group 10 officials are set to meet to discuss the eligibility of players in the competition and no matter the outcome, Booth will support it.

"Whatever they decide, we're happy to abide by it ... they will have their own ideas about everything and we'll conform to that," he said. "We just want to get out there and play footy with our mates."

The rumour mill has been swirling in the past few weeks and Booth shot down speculation that a pair of Oberon's first-graders from 2019 are signed on to play with the Tigers this winter.

"Neither Jackson Brien or Black Fitzpatrick have been cleared by NSW Rugby League to play with us this season," he said.

"Take Jackson, for example; he lives and works in Oberon and he's played in Oberon his entire life... we don't want one player who isn't from the town."

Those are the kinds of exceptions Booth favours as he thinks sides would benefit from local talent.

"A lot of sides have lost players throughout this COVID situation and I'll do what I can to help these teams out," he said.

"If that means everyone bringing in two or three ex-first graders, I think that could work. No one wants to bring in seven or eight first-graders... that's not the mentality."

There's also been discussion about the player migration affecting the Mid West competition's longevity, another claim that Booth addressed.

"Plenty of people are saying that first graders will come in and push other players out. If you allow that to happen then you're not a good coach," he said.