Myrtleford co-coach Matt Park believes the reigning two-time league and three-time cup champions can play even better than last season.
Despite calling a premature end to his playing career after another ACL injury in pre-season and the departure of AWFA Star Player and leading goal-scorer Tom Youngs and classy midfielder Angus Kelly, Park is expecting big things from his side.
Kelly is set to play the season opener against Twin City at Savoy Park on Sunday before moving to Wollongong.
"It’s disappointing because he’s really good player and still young, but good luck to him," Park said.
"That’s three decent players down the middle we’re missing, but we’ve got Connor Caponecchia and Troy Pawlik coming back, we’ve brought in Remell (Davis) and Vitaly Leschen has come back from Melbourne.
"I think once we do gel, we can play even better football than we did last year."
Wangaratta may have what it takes to topple the Savoys with a well-rounded side set to take the pitch in 2019.
Captain Stoycho Ivanvov is no longer deemed a visa player, allowing star striker Adam Burchell and French recruit Thomas Romero to combine in the front third.
"Thomas is rapid. I hate to admit it, but he’s probably faster than me," Burchell laughed.
The Englishman has also been very impressed with what new senior coach Daniel Vasilevski has brought to the Red Devils.
"The team morale this year is so much better," he said.
Albury United looms as one of the competition's surprise packets after a strong off-season on the recruiting front and the addition of a new senior coach in Steve McClennan.
Greens' skipper Caleb Martin is excited for what lies ahead.
"It's his (McLennan) first time coaching seniors, but all the boys have got around him and had a really good pre-season," he said.
"We lost three players to Murray United, but we picked up four or five and I think we’ll be stronger than last year."
Senior goalkeeper Marty Chambers is taking the year off to travel, but former Melrose shot-stopper Josh Fluss is a more than handy replacement.
"Flussy is massive, just his leadership and obviously everyone knows how good of a goalkeeper he is," Martin added.
Albury Hotspurs will take a new-look side into the 2019 campaign and have entrusted young gun Luke Dahl with the captaincy.
"It’s pretty new to me, but it’s a bit easier because we’ve got similar blokes around the club," Dahl said.
"We’ve got a few new young guys coming in again and I’m excited to see how they go."