HASTINGS Valley Vikings had to cancel their milestone year celebrations when the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the 2020 Upper Mid North Coast Rugby Union season.
The focus will shift slightly in 2021 when the Vikings compete in their 25th playing season under the guidance of first grade coaches Hamish and Adam Mccormack.
While both the Mccormack's appear to have enough on their plate off the field with family life, Hamish is quick to point out their decision to coach was one which had the blessing of their partners.
"We both had a chat with our partners first before we even told anyone we were thinking about it and the kids enjoy it as much as we do," he said.
"Everyone seems pretty keen after having a year off; we're all excited the comp is going ahead at the moment."
The future looks bright for the club with a number of their under-18s ready to make the step up to the first grade competition.
"Last year we were excited because we had a good bunch of 18-year-old's right through our juniors that were ready to come through to seniors," Mccormack said.
"Our aim at the start of the year is always on finals if not grand finals and that will be no different this year."Hamish Mccormack
"Then the season ended up falling on its head so as long as we get a lot of those blokes back, we've still got a lot of experience in our club.
"Everyone I'm talking to are saying they're playing."
The Vikings will have had the added bonus of laying claim to premiership status for 18 months when the competition kicks off in April.
Mccormack admitted the year off could make the club even stronger.
"It is probably going to help a few of those older blokes because their bodies have had a chance to recoup and it brings the fire in the belly a bit more to play one more season," he said.
"Our aim at the start of the year is always on finals if not grand finals and that will be no different this year."
As well as first grade, Mark Howard will coach reserve grade while Scott Strachan and Michael Huxley will coach the under-18s.
Mick Aldridge and Andrew Kable (under-16s) and Sam Browning and Thomas Hetherington (under-14s) round out the club coaching appointments.