The sense of mateship which defines the Gunning Roos is exactly what has carried them to the brink of the 2020 season.
Before the George Tooke Shield was postponed, along with the rest of the Canberra Region Rugby League competitions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Roos were well-placed.
They'd just announced the signing of a new head coach, Paul Loughhead, who was fresh from a 35-year career as part of the coaching staff at the West Belconnen Warriors, and hopes were high for the season ahead.
But when the coronavirus struck and the lockdown was implemented across the state, many of the Roos' local sponsors were unable to continue funding the club.
"I think we'll travel from week to week money wise, because we lost quite a few of our sponsors due to COVID, which is understandable," club president Kathy Johnson said.
"We don't like asking for any sponsorships from a lot of people, but a couple of our majors sponsors are still on board."
In the three months since the beginning of the lockdown, the Roos have been hard at work raising money by selling chocolate and putting on a wood drive.
"On my son's property at Wee Jasper we cut a heap of wood and we're selling it off," Johnson said.
"At the end of the year we're doing more fundraising, we'll probably do another Bogan Bingo fundraising night."
Though there is a lot of work yet for the Roos to do, Johnson is confident the enthusiasm of the playing group will carry them through the season.
"The boys are keen to get going so I wasn't going to hold them back. The grounds are opened back up now so we're into it," she said.
"When they're enthusiastic, who's going to stop them?
"We had a really good trial match against the Canowindra Tigers and we held our own there, came up with a draw."
After a lacklustre 2019 campaign, the Roos will be buoyed by the presence of some former West Belconnen players whom Loughhead brought across.
Similarly, the CRRL has sanctioned the use of permits which allow players, whose home teams have opted not to take part in competition this year, to play for a different side.
Johnson expects the Roos will also pick up a couple of players using such permits.
Overall, she believes the season is "shaping up well". With some new faces and a new coach at the helm, the Roos may yet cause some upsets in 2020.
The George Tooke Shield has been confirmed for a July start, with an exact draw yet to be released by the CRRL.
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