You simply do not replace the best player in the league, but as painful as losing Adam Clydsdale will be for the Maitland Pickers they have a NSW Country representative ready to step into hooker.
Jarrod Smith missed the majority of last season after injuring the ACL in his knee, denying Pickers of a potent weapon in playmaker rotation they hoped would run opponents off their feel.
"Losing Adam is a huge loss, he was the best player in the league last year and a great leader for us on the field and a great person to have around the club," Pickers coach Luke Dorn said.
"Smithy is coming along well and will be ready to go. I think we will adapt our game plan a little bit differently this year.
"My job is to get the best out of the players I've got not necessarily for them to fit into how ideally I would like to see the game played.
"We've got some good forwards and some very good outside backs so we'll adapt our game plan and see where it is at in five weeks time."