Gloucester Cockies president Jamie Searle talks the progress of the club in 2020

Making progress: The Gloucester Cockies are fielding a strong women's 10s side this season. Photo: Kirsten Jory.
Making progress: The Gloucester Cockies are fielding a strong women's 10s side this season. Photo: Kirsten Jory.

The women's 10s rugby team is the 'shining light' of the Gloucester Cockies, according to new president Jamie Searle.

While the club continues to bounce back from hard times, the women's team is fast becoming one of the powerhouses of the Lower Mid North Coast Rugby Union competition.

"They're providing a real spark to this town," Searle said.

"They just keep getting better and better under coach Chris Marchant- he has done an extraordinary job."

He is confident the side will feature on grand final day.

"They're a really fit team with some really great players which is what you need to win a country competition," Searle said.

The men's team didn't contest the 2019 premiership due to a lack of numbers.

Searle said a slow rebuild of the roster started this season.

A number of Maitland and Newcastle based players will don the black, red and white jersey in 2020.

"Then we've had players bring their mates and brothers into the side- it's a real motley crew," Searle said.

"It's a great bunch of guys who are playing for the right reasons."

With the team back on the park, Searle said Gloucester locals are starting to become involved with the club again.

The 2020 Gloucester Cockies men's side. Photo: Kirsten Jory.

The 2020 Gloucester Cockies men's side. Photo: Kirsten Jory.

Searle linked up with the club at the start of the year, with the decision to name him president an unexpected one.

"I've always been involved with rugby in some form but I still didn't know why I was asked to be president," Searle said.

"I'm new to the area so it's a good way to become involved with the community."

It's not his first foray in club administration.

Searle was heavily involved with the Coonamble Rams in the Western Plains competition.

He also held a coaching role with the first grade team and was instrumental in the growth of the juniors.

One of the promising talents to come out of the system was current NSW Waratahs and Wallabies lock Ned Hanigan.

So evidently his track record is good news for the Gloucester faithful.

The positive aura around the club is a testament to the work of the administration team.

"The club went through some pretty dark times to the point where there possibly wouldn't be a club anymore," Searle revealed.

I'm new to the area so it's a good way to become involved with the community.

Jamie Searle, Gloucester Cockies president

"Small community clubs should be well run and fun so if we keep ticking these boxes we will see Gloucester return to how it was before this time.

"This will happen over time if we do the right things so it's a work in progress."

The club will look to introduce social memberships.

"This will help with administration in terms of having a proper annual general meeting and voter base," Searle said.

Searle said the club is financially viable, despite the COVID-19 stranglehold on community sports across the country.

"With success comes the attraction of sponsorship," he said.

"Sponsors give us money but you still need to show them their money is being spent well."

This past Saturday, both sides suffered close loses to Wallamba Bulls. The men's side went down 24-15 while the women's side lost 31-24.