Having played for the Two Blues back in 2004, Christian Burden says he is acutely aware of the difficult journey the Western Sydney club has recently endured.
The newly appointed General Manager, who played First Grade for four Shute Shield clubs during his rugby career, says his understanding of the competition, the Two Blues history and demographic, puts him in good stead to take the club into its most recent chapter.
“I’ve always had an eye on the club and remained supportive even through the recent troubles,” he said.
“Anyone who knows me knows I am always motivated by a challenge. I don't take on roles that require me to tick the box and repeat what's been done already.
“I’m bringing with me a fresh set of eyes and a personal connection to the Two Blues, traits which motivate me to lead this club toward success.”
Since the club confirmed it would be offered a Participation Agreement in August, it's embarked on a raft of coaching appointments in the search for stability and success in 2022.
As previously reported by Shute Shield Media, the Two Blues have welcomed Sailosi Tagicakibau and Beth Whaanga to lead the Shute Shield and Jack Scott Cup squads forward next season.
This new coaching entourage will work within brand new facilities, with Eric Tweedale Stadium to be unveiled in November.
These announcements are undeniably positive short-term improvements for the Western Sydney club, changes which Burden believes accumulate to be the most significant in the club's history.
“It’s well accepted throughout the club that the changes over the past 12 months are the biggest in our long and proud history,” he said.
“The club is starting from a low position, so we need to be aware that improvements will be gradual and will not blossom overnight.
“But the announcement of Sailosi and Beth, and a new Colts coaching team, coupled with the brilliant new Eric Tweedale Stadium, ensure we make those vital short-term improvements leading into 2022.
“We have also received terrific support from our sponsors and old boys. You only need to step foot in that new stadium to be inspired to achieve great things at this club.”
Burden is undeniably bold; his vision for the Western Sydney club is clear.
He believes the Two Blues, which stand as a microcosm for the entire Western Sydney catchment, will become the standard-bearer for rugby in the region.
“The club has had to endure a mountain of issues in recent times, but we are out the other side now and ready to progress within this competition,” he said.
“I’m realistic enough to know we have a long road ahead to win the Shute Shield, but I want us to be knocking on the door in the next couple of years.”
The Western Sydney Two Blues will host West Harbour in Round One of the 2022 Charter Hall Shute Shield season, kicking off on 2 April.
Catch all the opening round action Live, Ad-Free and On-Demand on Stan Sport.