BUOYED by a strong turnout to an information meeting on the weekend, Easts secretary Richard Warry said they could appoint a coach for their anticipated return to the Newcastle And Hunter Rugby Union premier competition by the end of the week.
After 3 years in exile, the door was opened last month for Easts to feature in a 11-team competition on the proviso they satisfied a number of criteria which remain confidential. The resolution was a result of court-appointed mediation, which followed Supreme Court action taken by the Mayfield-based club against the NHRU.
More than 60 people, including many potential players, attended a meeting at the Stag and Hunter Hotel in Mayfield on Sunday.
‘‘There were a lot of ex-players and old boys as well as a number of new faces,’’ said Warry, who has been the driving force behind Easts’ campaign for reinstatement.
‘‘There were a lot of good ideas and a lot of people put their hands up to help.
‘‘We have some new people with business backgrounds on the committee.’’
Easts were axed from the premier division in December 2008 when the NHRU, using a points-based criteria system, cut the competition to 10 sides.
Formerly known as Mayfield East, they were forced to withdraw their colts midway through that year after a number of on- and off-field incidents.
‘‘Colts was the problem last time and we are determined not to have that bad element back,’’ Warry said.
‘‘We have to come back better. We are putting the right structures in place. That starts with a decent coach.
‘‘We have one bloke we are talking to from Sydney, a local bloke and there could be an applicant from overseas.
‘‘Nominations don’t close until August 20, but if we get the right person we will appoint them.
‘‘That might happen by the end of the week.’’
Training will be at Dangar Park, their traditional home, but games will be played at another ground. Warry said Waratah Oval, No.2 Sportsground and Harker Oval were all possibilities.
Warry was confident the club would meet the requirements for premier clubs, which must register a minimum of 90 senior players and 25 colts.