COOTAMUNDRA soccer stalwart Mick Godbier is confident the Strikers will return to the first grade scene next year after agreeing to coach the side next year.
The Strikers were the only incumbent club to opt not to compete in Pascoe Cup this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Godbier, who previously coached the team in 2005 and then 2011-12, said he had been encouraged by the initial response from players about returning to the fold in 2021.
Godbier has also enjoyed previous coaching stints with Wagga City Wanderers' women's and under-20s sides.
"I've had some very positive feedback from players who pulled out of the first grade team this season," he said.
"It's a pretty exciting feel around the club and hopefully we can get back and get the first grade team going again.
"It's massive for the town (to have a team). We're only a small town and always fighting with Aussie Rules, league and union. To me, it's vital.
"A change of lifestyle and a new job means I'll be closer to home, so I thought I'd come back and help out my home club."
Godbier said the club won't have any grand on-field expectations next year, and will focus on establishing solidarity and giving young talent a chance.
"We've got some good young kids coming through and it helped sway my decision to coach," he said.
"We'll be about player development. Hopefully we can get some older heads back around those young kids, and they'll be better for it in the long run."