A half-dozen names in the next two weeks could see Tathra tipping their way back into Group 16 competition.
The Sea Eagles have been given provision to return to Group 16 if they can show 26 registered players by January 22.
Returning president of the club Peter Finucane says the Sea Eagles are close, with about 20 sign ups following a frantic hustle over the Christmas break.
“We’re pretty hopeful we’re right this time,” Mr Finucane said. “We’ve been working pretty hard over the break, but we’ve had a few blokes move back to the area so we have 20 or so right now.
“And we’re negotiating with a few more.”
Mr Finucane said the club had been battling for three years now to make a return, but had been met by some “not ideal” proposals from Group 16, including a push to merge with Bombala under portability rules in 2017.
However, the Sea Eagles are now confident of going in on their own and even putting forward a women’s team with potential for a reserve grade side to form.
“It’s been the busiest time of year with Christmas so no one is thinking about footy this early, but we’ve been hooking in and doing pretty well,” Mr Finucane said.
“We’ve also got 15 ladies signed up and if anyone wants to have a go they’re more than welcome to join us.”
Mr Finucane said most of the numbers were from people returning home for work who hadn’t been playing for a few years.
He said it was important to the committee and the Sea Eagles to get the numbers “without affecting the other clubs in the area”.
The committee will meet Tuesday night to discuss plans for the year and – with the numbers expected to be finalised in time for the deadline – talk coaching and sponsorships with Clay Child a likely candidate to run the first grade for the Eagles.
“It’s been a real pity to see the Tathra Country Club grounds under-utilized, but hopefully we can get some games in the home town and a few local derbies,” the president said.
“We attract some fairly good crowds in those local clashes against clubs like Bega and Eden.
“Our community are great supporters of footy and we’ve been lacking with no team to follow so it would be great to be back in.”
Anyone interested in playing with the Tathra Sea Eagles is encouraged to join in for mixed touch footy on Tuesday nights at 6pm at the Tathra Beach Country Club.
“If you want to come and try or just for a look-see at how we operate and our strengths, everyone is welcome.” For more information you can also visit the Tathra Sea Eagles Rugby League Club Facebook page.