LEETON-WHITTON have been buoyed even further with more returning former Crows headed back to their home turf.
The 2020 Riverina Football League season is due to get started from July 18 and a new-look Crows outfit hopes to now be one of the front runners for the premiership.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a dampener of many facets of life this season, but there has been a silver lining for the Crows.
The club recently announced several former Leeton-Whitton hometown stars would be making their return to the Crows with the cancellation of the respective leagues they had been due to play in.
That list has now grown and includes:
- Liam Frazer
- Tyh Evans
- Hugh Collins
- Jake Wood
- Nathan Tang
- Lucas Meline
- Jono Spina
- Sam Hopper
- Mitch Hardie
Former AFL player Sam Darley has now been cleared to play the entire RFL season with the Crows, while Mitch Hardie is also set to return, pending clearance.
"The best thing about it is everyone single one of these players, bar Sam, grew up here in Leeton," coach Daniel Muir said.
"They are from Leeton and they are keen to get back here and play.
"Having players like Liam Frazer coming back is big. Some of the younger guys like Hugh, Jake, Tyh and Nathan Tang - they are big additions as well. A lot of them played in the 2017 premiership."
Muir said he was aware Frazer's clearance had been "cancelled" but said a permit for him to return instead of a clearance would allow for him to don the Crows colours for the first time in many years.
The coach was hopeful there would now be no hitch with Darley's arrival as he currently residents in Melbourne, which has emerged as a COVID-19 hot spot this week.
"We'll have to wait and see how that develops, but at the moment everyone is keen to get back playing ... hopefully in front of crowds as well," Muir said.
"We've been getting pretty big numbers at training as well, the mood around the club is great.
"There's that competitive atmosphere again."