A proposal for Manilla to move up to first grade this season is not in the club's best interests, says Tigers captain-coach Mitch Doring.
Doring said reserve grade was a better fit for a side who relished the social side of rugby league, and deserved the chance to win back-to-back reserve-grade premierships.
He said the club got "a bit ambushed" when it attended a Group 4 meeting in Tamworth on Saturday and the Group floated the idea of the Tigers playing first grade.
"I'm happy where we are," he said. "All the boys are happy where we are ... As I said: I reckon if we go to first grade, we're gonna lose a few key players, we're gonna lose our supporters."
He added: "I think we will stay [in reserve grade], and we're just excited for the [upcoming] season. I think if anything, we deserve to back our premiership up. We wanna do that, and we wanna show this town that we can do it."
"It just feels like they're tryin' to take it [that opportunity] off us, in a way. And we're gonna stand strong [but] it is what it is, at the end of the day. You know, if we've gotta do it [play first grade], we'll do it."
Doring said Manilla had had "a few meetings" to discuss the top-grade proposal, and was not taking the matter "lightly" - "especially with the last five or six years where we haven't been so well". The club sat out the 2018 season due to a lack of players.
"We won a premiership last year," Doring said. "We're just starting to get back on our feet. Something like this [the mooted promotion] comes up and it could be a make or break situation."
He added: "It's something we've really gotta have a good look at: if it's good future wise for us or it's not gonna work for us; there's no definite answer right now."
Doring said Manilla "locals" constituted the bulk of the Tigers side. That was largely due to the club's "good social" atmosphere. "And that's what it's all about at the end of the day ... That's why we love it [footy] out here. We're here to play park footy, not serious footy.
"At the end of the day, this is where we kinda stand with going to first grade or not. That's something we don't wanna lose. With trying to get a few more key players here, we'll kinda lose that social aspect of the side."
Doing said the Tigers were "looking very strong and the guys are ripping into the preseason".
"The committee's doing an excellent job again: they're all on top of everything. So credit to them, and we'll hopefully look forward to a good season."
Group 4 chairman Ray McCoy said: "As this is only one of the options being considered prior to finalising our 2020 draw, we will not be making any comments until the process has been completed."