After a 12-year absence of football in the area, the time has finally arrived for the Rankins Springs Dragons to return to the playing arena at the ProTen Community Cup knockout in Barellan on Saturday.
It is a day many thought would never eventuate after the Group 17 competition folded in 2006, but after hard work and dedication from those behind the scenes, sides will take to the field 12-years after they last ran out.
Rankins Spring’s Jamie Parsons fell it will mean a lot to the community to see their colours back on the field.
“We never got the opportunity to play for our hometown,” he said.
“We were 14 when it was folded, so we were two years away from playing but had to wait 12 so its a pretty big thing for us. Hence why we have put all the work into it we have been working pretty hard for four months now.”
It is a case of family traditions which makes the occasion special for Parsons.
“My grandfather played for the Springs back in the 50s and 60s, and my father did in the 80s and 90s, and a lot of other boys go back that far as well,” he said.
“You can trace relatives back to the 1953 Premiership side which was our first premiership. Hopefully a lot of the old boys can be out on Saturday because I'm sure it means a lot to them as well just to see the colours back on the field.”
Traditions such as this have seen dedication come out in those turning up to training even in the worst conditions.
“Had 24 guys turn out to training in the torrential rain on Thursday last week,” he said.
“Numbers have been really good lately, getting between 20 and 25 over the last month. A lot of those are local boys as well.
“Got probably 25 who are registered at the moment of that around 15 live here and another five used to live here when they were kids and live in Griffith now, and the others come from Weethalle and surround places.”
The Rankins Springs Sportsground will host round four of the ProTen Community Cup on June 30, and the ground is already in top condition.
“Andrew and Wally have done most of the work here, and our president Brent Parsons did a fair bit as well, and It is very nearly ready playing on,” he said.
The knockout gets underway in Barellan at 11am.