After a successful 2019 season, Mittagong Junior Lions League Club are eyeing a bright future for 2020.
The club has gone from strength to strength this year.
The club ended the season with three premiership wins from the u13 lead by coach Corey Shepherd, the u16 girls coached by Kayla Schmidt and a back to back win by the u15/16 boys coached by Billy Hayward.
The Lions also celebrated two key victories in the season, the first victory was against Moss Vale Junior Dragons in the Bob Hall Cup. Bob Hall was a life member of both clubs.
Unknowingly to both clubs, it would be the last time the clash would occur as Moss Vale Dragons joined forces with Bowral and Robertson to form the Highlands Storm. The second victory was against Thirlmere Roosters in the Laurie Jensen Memorial Trophy.
The 2019 season also marked the beginning of the Anzac Day jersey, which will now be worn at every Anzac Day game and the installation of the digital scoreboard which was made possible by the local community and generous donations.
Mittagong Junior Lions Rugby Club president Tim Murphy and club secretary Billy Hayward have seen the club grow since they joined the committee four years ago.
"It's been a great year," said Mr Murphy
"Four years ago there were only 160 registered players, now we have 248 players and rising.
"[At the club] kids come first, we've seen retention of players increase by 30 per cent."
It's not only on the field that the Lions have found success; A partnership with Youth Solutions has meant that the Pathways Program is another success story for the club.
The Pathways program is designed to educate 15 and 16 year-olds on issues surrounding drugs, alcohol and life experiences. With the club looking to expand the program next year.
The program helps players transition in to adulthood with driving lessons, first aid and more to show them that life isn't just about running on the field. The recent sponsorship agreement with Oporto, the funds received will go towards funding player education courses. "We wants kids to want to be a part of the [club]," said Mr Murphy.
Not only does the club want to retain players, they are also after coaches to lead the club to victory. The club will organise coaching support to help new and returning coaches. Coaching applications are currently open for the 2020 season. Applications close on November 22 at 5 pm. Interested coaches are advised to contact the club via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.