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AS the Cutters prepare to defend their Intrust Super Cup premiership in 2014, chief executive Glenn Ottaway said for the club to be strong the local league also has to be strong.

Ottaway was this week elected to take over Stephen Hawkins's role as chairman of Mackay and District Rugby League.

He said his main objective would be keeping a close relationship between the Cutters and the local teams, not only pushing Cutters players to be at their best each week, but also giving local players every chance of progressing through to a higher level.

"It's an interesting one, I guess, and something I'm fairly passionate about in that I do believe I'm an employee of the game, not just the Cutters," he said.

"For the Cutters to be strong, Mackay league has to be strong right from junior level through to seniors, so if I'm working closely with the local clubs, that only strengthens our relationship.

"Hopefully I can manage the time effectively and hopefully we can bring everyone closer together and continue on from the good work that's already been done over a number of years with Mackay league."

Ottaway said Hawkins had done a great job with the region's rugby league throughout the years, but had taken up a position with the QRL Northern Division.

He said Hawkins would still be working closely with the region in his new role as QRL Northern Division is essentially MDRL's governing body.

"We've seen the standard of local league improve during (Hawkins's time), so it's not about coming in and changing the world, it's about coming in and working with the eight clubs to make decisions in the best interest of the game and hopefully move things forward a little bit," Ottaway said.