WANGARATTA coach Dean Stone believes the Magpies will need to improve to win back-to-back premierships.
Although the defending champion look almost as strong as last season with midfielder Craig Evans and brothers Mark and Jamie Anderson coming on board, Stone remains cautious.
“We’re in a really strong position but there are no short cuts to it,” Stone said.
“Our message has been strong around working harder and getting better.
“We have to get better because we have everyone coming after us.”
Wangaratta has lost Tom Whittlesea (South Australia), Nick Richards (Williamstown) and Judd and Daine Porter (retired) from the side which upset Albury in the grand final.
Beau Wheeler has joined King Valley as an assistant-coach
Vice-captain Matt Hedin will return after tearing his ACL in the opening round of this year.
“He’ll be like a recruit for us,” Stone said.