As the current players of the Cootamundra Blues Australian Rules Football Club prepare for the 2019 season, past players, committee members and fans of the club are readying themselves for a celebration of a different kind.
The club will mark six decades this year with a celebration planned at the Town Hall on Saturday, June 8.
A large contingent of current and former affiliates of the club are expected to make the trip back to Cootamundra over the long weekend to mark the milestone, with the club also working with AFL Canberra to host a home game that round.
Blues president Todd Basham said the long weekend was chosen for the celebration to give people time to travel.
The Blues history is a proud one with the club formed by Max Rudd, Maurie Cousley and Jim Clarke, who entered two teams in the Central Riverina League.
The teams were initially known as the Cats with Cousley inaugural coach.
By 1963 the Blues were born and the navy blue and white jumper as per the Carlton VFL club was adopted.
That same year council gave permission to the club to build a home ground, with all work to be done by the club at its own expense.
Clarke Oval was ready for use at the beginning of the 1964 season.
The club's first premiership came in 1973 against East Wagga with a comfortable 124-91 victory.
The history books show the Blues' best on the day were Rob Fairweather, Ken Coggan, Wayne Quinnell and Steven Long.
In the early 2000s, the club faltered on the field due to lack of players; a conundrum for every country football club, however they hung tough with up to a dozen players doubling up to take the field for two games each Saturday.
It became apparent to the committee and playing group the Blues' future in the Farrer League was not sustainable and in 2004 the Blues joined AFL Canberra, where only one team was required but extra commitment in the form of travel most weekends was needed.
Tim Mahon was appointed coach and in their second match in the new competition the Blues broke a 24-match losing streak defeating ADFA.
They have continued to go from strength to strength over the past decade and a half in the Canberra comp and are regular starters in the finals.
The club has added a number of premierships and grand final appearances to their proud history.
They have also recently added a women's team to their ranks, who are starting to see their own success.
Basham said this proud history is certainly not lost on the current playing group and will be acknowledged at the 60 years celebration.
"I think they recognise that it is important to carry on that history," Basham said.
The Herald will publish more details on the celebration dinner as the date nears.
In the meantime attention is on the start of the season next month, with a date for round one yet to be firmly locked in.
Basham is pleased to see most of the players from last year return, although the Blues will no doubt feel the loss of Stephen Chant, a former captain, coach and six-time Best and Fairest winner.
Joining the ranks this year is Tom Anthony from Wagga, brought to the Blues by coach Luke Webb, and Aaron Basham, who played under 17s in Temora last year.
This is Webb's third year coaching the club with a premiership from 2014 already in his back pocket.