Jordyn Ballard, 2021 Bulldogs captain-coach.

The Cootamundra Bulldogs are not looking to compete in the 2021 Group 9 competition.

Bulldogs President Stephen Howse said the decision was imminent and realistic.

This year with Covid disruptions, the Bulldogs were not able to participate in the Group 9 comp and after a low-turnout at their recent AGM, the Bulldogs believes it would be logical to compete in the George Tooke Shield for 2021.

In result of discussions between committee members and players, a majority of the players have displayed a preference to play on a Saturday in the George Tooke Shield.

President Howse highlighted that if the Bulldogs competed in Group 9 next year, it would mean fielding a first-grade and a reserve side, which, would be financially challenging for the club.

“It was about listening to the players and what makes them happy. Having a good morale at the club is very important,” Mr Howse said.

“We want to be competitive and we feel that we are going to be more competitive in the George Tooke Shield rather than Group 9 for next season.”

Stephen added that for the past few years, the club lost opportunities for juniors to come up the ranks as many of them left town after their apprenticeship.

This becomes extremely challenging for a sport that depends on its player pool from the age ranges of 23-30.

President Howse said the final option for the club is to fold next season, which he does not want to.

If successful with their application, which will be discussed at the George Tooke Shield AGM later this month, it will be the first time the Bulldogs will compete in the Shield.

Harden Hawks, Boorowa Rovers, Binalong Brahmans, Bungendore Tigers and Gunning Roos are a few of the surrounding clubs the Bulldogs will go up against.

At the Bulldogs AGM at the end of October, only five members filled committee roles and the club are still actively seeking volunteers.

Roles include gate duties, pack up and pull down, canteen as well as general duties.

Christopher Tan