Old boys’ days, in any sport, are always a bit special – the nostalgia flows as freely as the beer.
And on Sunday at Spooner Oval, the Magpies will honour their history with the club’s 2018 Heritage Day, which also doubles as the final round of the Group 11 regular season.
The club’s first grade side will wear replica jerseys of the 1958 premiership-winning Forbes team when the 2018 class tackles Parkes, marking the 60th anniversary of that title-winning campaign.
The Brendon ‘Stubby’ Collits Memorial trophy is also on the line on Sunday and first grade coach Cameron Greenhalgh is expecting standing room only when the two old rivals go toe-to-toe, the Magpies hoping for the regular season double after an earlier-season 18-6 win at Parkes.
“We’ll take the day as it comes but we’re really positive at the moment, we’ve got a full squad and we’ve trained really well,” Greenhalgh said.
“The juniors have wrapped up the minor premiership, but that’s one-v-two in that game. The girls will be a good game, too, and reserve grade is building. The coaches there are doing great job. They’ll take some beating too.
“I think there’s two canteens operating. We’ll be wearing new jumpers, it should be massive – standing room only. Hopefully we get some decent weather because this sort of day is good for the area, good for footy.”
Forbes can’t be moved from fourth on the Group 11 first grade ladder, but motivation won’t be lacking given everything that’s on the line.
“When we dropped a couple a few weeks back we sort of knew we’d have to settle for fourth. We’ve put ourselves in that position,” Greenhalgh said.
“We’ve been there before. Heading into semi-final football, you want to be winning and head into the semis with that winning feeling.”
Helping the Magpies is the return of skipper Jake Grace.
The tireless lock played his first game in over a month last week in Nyngan, lifting the Magpies over the Tigers at Larkin Oval and helping the club snap a three-game losing streak, one that started when Grace first ventured on holidays.
Greenhalgh said missing the club’s inspiration skipper wasn’t an excuse for losses against premiers CYMS, the then-winless Narromine and finally Wellington.
“But he is very well respected, and the young boys that had were captain without Jake there took too much on board and didn’t play the way they normally would,” Greenhalgh said.
“He’s back now, though, and the rest of the playing group just has to worry about their job. If we can stay injury free we might surprise a few sides in the coming weeks.”
Anyone wearing a pre-2000 Magpies jumper will get a $5 voucher for the canteen or bar on the day on Sunday.