AFL North West president Sonia Martin is excited about the season ahead after the men's competition was given a late kick along by the revival of the New England Nomads and two eleventh hour nominations.
Six teams will now contest for the silverware with the Inverell Saints and Tamworth Kangaroos both nominating teams over the weekend and joining premiers Gunnedah Bulldogs, Tamworth Swans, the Nomads and Moree Suns.
"It's just fantastic, and it's such a great opportunity for AFL to really showcase the sport," Martin said.
The competition management committee is now formulating draws for the four competitions - men's, women's, under-17s and under-14s, ahead of a proposed July 18 start.
Martin said they hope to have the draws to the clubs by Sunday, acknowledging that it is a fairly tight turnaround for booking grounds.
She said it was great to see the Nomads rally to get a side together after they initially withdrew from the competition amid concerns they wouldn't have enough players to field a team.
Criticised at the time for being too reliant on the university to draw players from, returning coach, James Treweeke, said a push from a core group of town-based players has seen the club throw themselves back into contention.
Martin was among those who questioned their reliance on UNE-sourced players, but took her hat off to them for pulling a side together in such tough circumstances.
The club commenced training last week, and while they will still have a few students, Treweeke said the numbers have really come from the [local] players getting onto their mates and saying 'if you're keen, come down and play.'
"I think we've got a core group of 16 or 17 which we thought was probably enough, you can always get extras for games from week-to-week," he said.
It won't just be newcomers to the team making up the numbers either.
There's plenty of familiar, premiership-winning faces to build the team around including Tom Hunt, Dave Richards, Wulu Hall, Jonathon Frost and Morgan Dunn as well as Treweeke.
They will, however, only field a men's team.
"We are only going to have a senior men's team this year because juniors, going from last year's numbers to this year, we just didn't have the players," Treweeke said.
"And the women's team, we just didn't have enough interest to warrant putting a team in."
"Hopefully over the next few months we can build up a lot of interest and get trainings going again and build towards next year."
While the men's competition will feature six teams, the women's, under-17s and under-14s will all proceed with four.
"It's really exciting to move forward with four teams in the women's competition," Martin said.
Moree and Gunnedah have both entered teams and will join the Saints and Swans.
She said the Bulldogs particularly had done "amazingly well in really difficult conditions" with the club also getting up an under-14s team.
Glen Innes will also step up to field an under-17s team this season as well as under-14s.