The Maitland Pickers will lodge an appeal with the NSW Rugby League to overturn a decision to reject the club's bid to field under-16/17 teams in 2020.
Pickers president Frank Lawler said the Newcastle-Central Coast Regional Rugby League management's decision came as no surprise and the club had been prepared for it.
The defiant Pickers will appeal the decision and proceed with an advanced skills session on Tuesday next week for prospective under-16 and 17 players for the 2020 season.
Under senior coaching staff led by head coach Matt Lantry, the Pickers will hold two more sessions in the new year scheduled for Thursday, January 16 and Tuesday, January 21.
"We are confident that we will win the battle and want all players and parents who had shown such interest in our plans to get along on Tuesday," Lawler said.
"The session will be going ahead as will the ones in January.
"We never expected an easy passage of our plans, particularly at the early stages.
"These are the same people who under the CRL banner rejected our requests over the past five years to run teams from under-16s up.
"We can now appeal to the NSW Rugby League and get a new set of eyes to look at our proposal and we are confident that we will at last be in the same position as the other Newcastle RL clubs in being able to run junior teams.
"We owe it to the young players and parents who turned up at our meetings in November to outline our plans to run under-16s and 17s."
The Mercury reported in November that it It was standing room only at the meeting held by Maitland Pickers Rugby League Club to gauge interest in forming under 16 and 17 teams in 2020 and beyond.
About 100 people attended the night and there were more than 30 additional inquiries on the day after.
West Maitland Junior Rugby League president Andrew Carraro, who was invited by the Pickers to be part of the process, said there was a little bit of opposition but the overwhelming majority were in support of it."
Carraro said it was about working with affiliate clubs in the area, not against them and ultimately providing opportunities for young players to remain in Maitland.
"We want to try and get rid of this 'us vs them' mentality," he said. "We want to put the focus back on the kids, so they can stay in the game in Maitland.
Last year, there was only one under-17 team formed from the Pickers' five feeder clubs.
Lawler said there were two affiliate under-16 division one teams in 2019 but both had been reduced to 13 players by the end of the season and neither club was confident of fielding an under-17 team on their own.
"As it stands there will not be an under-17 division one team for Maitland kids to play in unless we proceed with a Pickers team," he said.
"Those kids who want to play will need to go to other Newcastle RL clubs such as Kurri Kurri or Cessnock.
"We believe we could field probably a division one and a division two team next season if we get the nod from the NSW RL."
Tuesday's session will run from 5-6pm and be followed by a barbecue organised by the Pickers Old Boys.