One of the standouts is Luke Taylor.
The current Dungowan Cowboy captain-coach is skippering the Cowboys in tomorrow’s Group 4 Second Division preliminary final against Quirindi Grasshoppers at Quirindi Sportsground.
While he is at the end of a marvellous career, he still possesses some attacking punch for his Cowboys, playing at lock.
“Luke had one of the most unique running styles,” La Chiusa said.
“So strong and hard to tackle.
“Take him out of those good North sides and they might not have won a couple of those grand finals.
“He was their go-to guy when they needed something. He beat us in one grand final with a great try I remember well.”
On the wings are Jarvis Watton and Michael Knox.
“Jarvis also played for us but he killed us a few times when he was out at Coonabarabran,” La Chiusa said.
“Knoxie is still going around but he was the real will o’ the wisp.
“Every time we went to Narrabri he’d score two or three tries. Just uncanny.
“And Jamie Lyon played that one season for Wee Waa when he left Parramatta. He just controlled the game. He could score a try.
“We were the only team to beat them that year.”
La Chiusa partners Werris Creek’s Daniel Wilson in the centres with Lyon.
“He was big and strong, a powerful runner,
“And his brother, Corey is at five-eighth. He was a brilliant player.
Big and strong too but with great footwork and a brilliant ball player. He was like having an extra prop.”
Halfback is North Tamworth number seven Warrick Colley.
“He was in those great North teams of the early 2000s and I think he was even Country player of the year at one stage. He got them around the park.”
At hooker is John Johnson, who is still playing for Scone, who were knocked out of the Group 21 premiership race when beaten 24-22 by Greta Branxton Colts in last Sunday’s preliminary final at Greta Oval.
“Johnno was the best of all the hookers we played. It’s remarkable he’s still going so well down there with Scone.”
At prop La Chiusa rated Peter Driscoll and Jason Darcy.
Both were gentleman on and off the field.
“Big Disco caused so much damage in those premiership-winning North sides. He’d just roll over the top of you.
“And after games he was one bloke who would come and shake your hand, have a chat and a beer.
“And Jason Darcy single-handedly beat us out at Moree one day.
“He was such a good prop who made our boys wonder what was going on when he’d pat them on the head and tell them they were going well. The boys didn’t know what to think.”
In the back row, La Chiusa has named Lee Stanford, Ken Anderson and Matt Munro.
“Lee is one of the most powerful runners I’ve ever seen.
“Strong and huge thighs, he took the ball up into defences.
“And Kenny Anderson is still going strong. He’s such a good worker, on and off the field. He’s now Wee Waa’s club president.”
Anderson is a part of the Wee Waa side tackling North Tamworth in Sunday’s Group 4 preliminary final at Wee Waa.
Matt Munro is at lock in La Chiusa’s Best of the Rest side.
His arrival in Tamworth galvanised not only North but West as well.
“He was dynamite in 2001 and 2002 when the Group was at its strongest.
“He used to talk a lot but he could back it up. Like Brendan (Hunt) he could play lock or five-eighth.”
On the bench are Matty Parsons, Ben Wilson, Paul Smith and Brenton Cochrane.
“Big Matty Parsons might have been past it when he came back from Newcastle but he was such a big man.
“He was so hard to handle.
“Ben Wilson was outstanding against us every time we played. He and his brother Tom could play but Ben was so strong and he was also a real good bloke off the field.
“Paul Smith was a good footballer. I remember mark Frankel saying once, “Paul who?” when we were getting ready to play Narrabri.
“He soon found out. He could play centre, five-eighth and was always good for them.”
Which brought La Chiusa to number 17 – Brenton Cochrane.
“I had to leave Mick Watton out for him, that’s how good he is,” La Chiusa said.
“He’s such a dangerous player. One of the best attacking players I’ve seen.”
That’s his Best of the Rest team, one dominated by players from the early 2000s.
“That’s when the competition was at its strongest. Our current-day side would lose by 40 or 50 to those North and West sides.
“It was great football. We’d be getting 3000 people to comp games.”
Indeed, one night game at Scully was so electric it attracted a huge crowd in the middle of winter.
And the game lived up to the media hype as well, La Chiusa said.
“Us and Norths were so strong I used to feel sorry for the other sides,” he said.