The Western Suburbs Magpies will make their debut in the Ron Massey Cup in season 2013, with the famous foundation club looking to rebuild through the third-tier competition.
Speaking with NSWRL Media, Coach Leo Epifania revealed the Magpies have had to ‘start from scratch’ leading into their Round One clash with Auburn this weekend.
“The way things have gone with Western Suburbs and joining the Ron Massey Cup means we’re back to square one,” Epifania said.
“We’ve had to put together a squad who weren’t concerned about money and were just focused on playing football and that’s a culture we’ve always tried to foster at the club.”
Epifania, a former Western Suburbs junior and first grade player, admitted that whilst the current situation wasn’t ideal, he was prepared to take the up the challenge of restoring the Magpies once again.
“I’ve been involved with Wests for a long time and we’ve had to do this a few times before.
“We’re not a team that’s kept 10 players from last year’s squad, and the way things are with the Wests Tigers merger means we sometimes don’t know where we are leading into a season.
“Ideally we’d like to have the core of a team in place but unfortunately rebuilding is just part of a coach’s job… we have a good crop of young guys here with a heap of potential who want to further their careers so it’s a positive time.”
Despite the difficulties associated with rebuilding an entire team, Epifania still has high aspirations for the foundation club and hopes the addition of new players will bring a sense of enthusiasm to the club.
“As a coach, I know no other way than to build towards the finals,” Epifania added.
“If I feel there a people or positions that aren’t cutting it and stopping us from achieving our goals then I’ll keep searching for the right squad until it comes together.
“I’m not expecting it to all come together for Round 1… but I’m hopeful we’ll get it right throughout the year and we’ll see progress sooner rather than later.”