Incoming Wauchope Blues coach Tony Pascoe saw an opportunity to return to a familiar region too good to refuse.
It's why he's excited about the challenge of returning the Blues back to the top of the Group 3 rugby league first grade ladder after signing on as coach for 2023.
The 56-year-old knows a thing or two about how to compile premiership-winning squads having won four titles in his hometown of Mudgee in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2016.
He also steered Port Sharks to two Group 3 titles in 2006 and 2010 during a five-year stint at the club.
"I'm not a bloke who has three or five-year plans. I plan on winning every time we go onto the paddock, so our goal is to win the competition," he said.
"Really looking forward to it. I've been out to Wauchope a couple of times, met a few of the committee and players and really excited about the club and the first grade squad we're putting together."
After his stint with the Sharks, Pascoe returned to the mines in Mudgee and the Hunter Valley for more than a decade before the coaching opportunity arose at Lank Bain Sporting Complex.
A major part of the reason why Pascoe accepted the position was how the Wauchope community rally around their footy team.
"Everyone sees [Wauchope] as the underdogs because they're a small town, but I think we're going to have a really good season," he said.
The opportunity to spend more time with family - children Josh, Kane and Molly - was also a contributing factor.
"The biggest attraction [was] the lifestyle and [then] an opportunity with Wauchope came up. I'd coach until I was a hundred if I could... I just love the game and I wanted to spend more time with the kids," he said.
All it took was a chat over the phone from a former player Aaron Ison - who is now the Blues' club president - that got the deal done.
"I coached Aaron back in 2010 when I was in charge of the Sharks; he gave me a call at the right time," Pascoe said.
The six-time premiership winning coach is excited by the prospect of working with a number of talented youngsters including Tylee Donovan, Jarren Lester and Mitch Clarke.
"Those younger blokes have got potential and just needed a couple of older blokes to help them along," Pascoe said.
"I'm 56 now so I've had a fair bit of experience around the game and how I can help them is through that experience."
Wauchope will start pre-season training on January 3.
"There will be a few away on holidays, but that's fine. We've got to start somewhere so we may as well start straight away."
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