BERRY-SHOALHAVEN Heads has always been one of the strongest nurseries in Group Seven Rugby League.
But for the best part of the last decade, the club has struggled to translate that junior talent into success in the senior ranks.
That could be all about the change with the recent signing of former-NRL prop Michael Henderson.
"It all started with a chance meeting with Magpies coach Jayson Smith - someone I've known since the early 2000s - at the end of December," Henderson said.
"At that stage, I didn't know if I was going to play footy or not - I was feeling a little stale.
"Smithy then asked offered me the opportunity to come down to Berry and play.
"After thinking about it for a couple of days, I became motivated to play again and signed on - as I had never had the chance to play in Group Seven."
Henderson started his career at Griffith before playing 119 NRL matches for St George Illawarra (41) and Gold Coast (78) between 2006-2013.
After stepping away from the Dragons set-up midway through 2013, the now 35-year-old finished the year at the Thirroul Butchers.
He then headed west and played for Temora for two seasons, before returning to the South Coast, where he played with Dapto for three years.
Then last year he returned to the Butchers in the Illawarra Division Rugby League competition.
"I really enjoyed playing in Group Nine (with Temora), for the fact it's all teams from small country towns and I know Group Seven is like that too," he said.
"I'm excited to play for the Berry community, who love their footy.
"Although they've had some lean years in seniors, they've had a couple of strong years in the juniors recently.
"With it potentially being my last year on the field, I want to try and give back as much as I can to the sport that has given me so much - I'm really keen to end my career on a positive note."
While he admits his best days are behind him, Henderson knows there's still plenty he can offer to the black and whites - especially to the young core of Billy Hayburn, Ky Sims, Caleb Robinson and Charlie and Ollie Parrish.
"Even though I've slowed down a little bit, I know I can help mentor the young guys at the club and lead by example - especially in terms of the mental side of the game," he said.
"With a handful of guys at the club involved with the Dragons system as well as numerous other talented young players, I'd like to think I can pass on some knowledge on what it takes to play at the top level.
"In the same vein, the difference between the good players and the great players in week-to-week consistency, which I learnt from playing with and against some of the best in the NRL.
"My aim is to put the club in a better place tomorrow than it is today."
Henderson is just one of four new signings for the Berry Showground based club, who have also added PJ Thornton, Mitch Liddicoat and Christian Mosey - which should offset the losses of Josh Ingold and Luke Ryder.
"I've spoken to Smithy a fair bit over the past few weeks and he's told me about the other guys we've added to the squad, which is exciting," Henderson said.
"It's shaping up to be a really strong squad, with a mixture of experience and youth - who us older blokes can feed off."
This all has Henderson confident his team, featuring the likes of Blake Dryden, Joe Rogers, Jack McPherson and Blygh Herron, can make some noise in 2020.
"It's no secret it's been a tough few years for the club and a lot of those experienced guys have been toiling away without success," he said.
"But after speaking to them, I know they are hungry for success - we really want to turn that losing habit into a winning culture.
"If we can apply a positive attitude at training and to the games, I know those guys will be rewarded with results on the field - there's a real will to succeed at the club.
"It's a challenge that really excites me and I can't wait to rip in."
The Magpies, who train on Tuesday and Friday from 6pm at the Berry Showground, kick-off their 2020 campaign against Gerringong at the Berry Showground on April 4.
While you're with us the Illawarra Mercury is offering sport readers 20% off an annual digital subscription. Sign up to stay up to date with all the local sports you love for only $3.00 a week. Terms and conditions apply.