I hope that the Emus have enough players left to form three competitive squads. Must be bloody hard for the likes of @Cattledog to keep the faith when players are being encouraged to go to more "glamourous" clubs.
Glamour is part of it but unfortunately this situation of players playing nowhere near where they live is fast becoming the norm. With the changes in the ethnic, wealth, & age demographics in parts of Sydney (along with a Sydney wide median house price of $750,000) many Shute Shield clubs are increasingly going to have to cast a wide net to maintain numbers & playing standards.
In a nutshell - These clubs are money rich but player poor & the Penrith District is player rich but money poor!
Last year there were at least 20 former Penrith Juniors or former colts players playing for other SS colts clubs. On top of this I encountered at least another 20 players who resided in our catchment area & who travelled to other SS colts clubs. OK all players are free agents but it's a bit rich when other clubs whinge about our inability to get a 3rd Colts!
Things like Randwick running training night buses to Campbelltown, Gordon, Southern Districts, West Harbour, Parramatta, & Eastwood all registering former Penrith players, & Easts recruiting directly from player managers located in Western Sydney are going to become the norm as the player pool in some districts continues to dry up.
It's clear to me that in the future many clubs are going to be made up of players who reside in Western Sydney & personally I don't have a problem with players chasing opportunity, clubs wanting to be competitive, or western Sydney becoming the "food bowl of Sydney Rugby". However, It would be nice if the clubs which are directly benefiting from development actually contributed to development and didn't whinge when we can't get teams!