Blue Mountains Rugby Club is regrouping following a disrupted 2021 season by confirming coaching appointments for 2022.
The Mountain Goats' seven grades saw their campaigns fall victim to the COVID pandemic, with the 2021 season abandoned in mid-August. That meant the club could get an early start on preparations for next year, with nearly all of the club's coaching positions now filled.
"We're particularly excited to have Luke 'Buckets' Williams stay on for another year as first grade coach," said media manager and player Brad Kenny. "His dedication to the club is second to none and he's played a massive role in developing a strong sense of camaraderie, which has encouraged a lot of players and coaching staff to stay with us."
Williams's assistant coach in 2022 will be player and former colts coach Luke Raams. As for other grades, Kenny says: "We've been quite fortunate to have a majority of the coaches stay on for another year, all of whom are great, hard-working clubmen."
The Goats are keen to attract new players over the summer, who would be joining a well-established club with high ambitions and a strong youth set-up.
"After making the first grade finals in 2019 in our first year in Division 1, our top grades (seconds and first) have struggled. However, the club as a whole has been doing great with our thirds and fourths consistently making finals. There's a great energy around the club at the moment and this year we managed to field seven grades, which we were incredibly proud of.
"Our colts - which featured a large portion of league converts - had a breakout year in 2021 and we're excited to continue growing and developing our roster of young stars.
"In 2022 we want to take the next step and make a consistent, competitive push to become one of the top four performing sides in the competition. We're extremely proud of our club as a shining light for rugby in Sydney's west and off the back of our success want to assist in growing interest for the game in the area.
The club had further reason to celebrate recently given that Brad Kenny is the older brother of Mitch Kenny of the Penrith Panthers, who of course recently won the NRL Premiership. Kenny the younger, a hooker, made 18 appearances for the Panthers in 2021, and remains a supporter of Blue Mountains Rugby.
"Mitch is a local boy and as a big fan of the club's culture, and a massive supporter of rugby in Western Sydney, he tries to get to as many games as possible to cheer us on," said his brother.