GLOUCESTER Cockies are optimistic of fielding a men's team in the Lower North Coast Rugby Union competition next season.
The Cockies fielded a women's side this year, but didn't have enough players to form a men's side.
This will end the disruptive monthly "bye round" scenario of this year's five-team competition.
Old Bar Clams will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their 2009 premiership triumph tomorrow at the Old Bar Tavern, from 5pm and then their annual Christmas party at the tavern on Sunday week.
Newly elected president, Brian Groughan, said: "It is always good to see our former premiership players and club supporters again. We are asking everyone to wear club colours and club gear."
Pleasingly, he is confident the Clams will field a strong run-on team next season with some reserves.
Seven-times premiership-winner, Ron McCarthy, has been returned unopposed as club coach of the Forster Tuncurry Dolphins for next year's competition.
McCarthy's reappointment was purely a formality after the club's unbeaten premiership success this year following the two barren winters of 2017-2018 when Nabiac's Wallamba Bulls claimed back-to-back titles under the coaching supervision of Lee Sullivan and Jim Wilson.
The Dolphins' defeats coincided with McCarthy's absence on an 18-month sabbatical with wife, Jenny, in the Italian Alps town of Perugia following his retirement from school teaching at Gloucester High School.
Back in coaching harness, McCarthy engineered an outstanding season with the Dolphins, emerging from a 25-all first-game draw with the Manning River Ratz to remain unbeaten, the club's ranks swollen by the return of 10 former players and the unprecedented arrival of four Tongan forwards, eventually claiming the grand final, 47-14, against Manning River.
The tragedy of the Kennards Hire grand final was the Ratz loss on the eve of the game of their two play-makers, outstanding goal-kicking utility back Ricky Campbell and crafty captain-coach, five-eighth Mitch Carter.
Likewise, with McCarthy's appointment, New Zealander, Peter Strickland, was retained as coach of the club's women's team.
McCarthy has been involved in some coaching capacity with the Dolphins since rugby was "reborn" in the region in 2004.
Communications with the four Tongans has been limited although "Hau" Honema'u, the blockbusting No 8 who shared last season's "most exciting new player award" with another hefty, hard-running forward, Blake Polson, told McCarthy: "You coach, I play next season!"