Forbes Magpies mighty Under 12s head to the Lachlan rugby league grand final this weekend, meeting Condobolin in what should be a fantastic contest.
Coach David Mylecharane says the 25-strong squad has worked hard all season, and they're prepared for what should be a tough grand final tussle.
"The competition all year has been close between the top four sides," Mylecharane said.
The other two top teams of Parkes and Red Bend were also extremely competitive, and any could have featured on grand final day.
But the Forbes 12s have earned their spot with hard work: the full squad turning up for training twice a week, every week, all winter.
"Their attitude and their discipline have really impressed me all year," Mylecharane said.
Magpies have met Condobolin three times this year and the two sides are on even footing after a draw, a Forbes loss and then a Forbes win in the major semi-final to qualify for Sunday with a week off in between.
It's an age group where the game is really starting to develop as the juniors start to emulate their NRL heroes, grasping the international rules of the code and building structure and strategy.
"There's a lot of talent, and some of the stars of the future are starting to emerge," Mylecharane said.
The 25-strong squad available for the Under 12s is an indication of the growing number of juniors playing rugby league, Mylecharane added.
League tag has a lot to do with it, it's increasingly popular with competition from under sixes through mini, junior and senior competitions.
One of the Magpies' junior league tag teams qualified for the semi-finals this season, but were knocked out.
The Magpies Under 16s went on to the elimination finals last weekend, where they met a powerful Parkes side who earned their spot in that competition's grand final against Red Bend.
The Under 12s play in Manildra this Saturday, with the game expected to kick off about 10am.
The young team's captains are five eighth Harry Staines and front rower Matthew Higgins.
Pictured: Fourth row David Mylecharane (Coach), Sam Schrader, Matty Merritt, Nash Pout, Luke Andrews, Kye McDaniel, Kurt Mylecharane (Manager) third row Tim Taylor (FAO), Alan Merritt, Stuart Cuskelly, Lachlan Kearney Pallister, Jesse Flick, Malaki Paahi, Riley Mylecharane, Mikey Hamilton second row Hunter Markwort, Noah Bryant, Jye Bush, Carlos Williams, Jett Rudd, Seth Butler, Phoenix Hurford first row Ashton Johnson, Will Hamilton, Harry Staines, Matty Higgins, Nick Taylor, Jacob Nash.