Tallangatta is leaving no stone unturned as the hungry Hoppers chase their first flag since 2015.
The Hoppers finished fifth this year and are shaping as a serious flag contender after landing several key signings over the off-season.
Wodonga trio Jack and Bob Russell and Kyle Goodman have joined the Hoppers.
Upper Murray league best and fairest winner Tom McKimmie has also switched clubs from Federal.
Second year coach, Tyson Smith, alongside the Hoppers' leadership group in Tim Kennedy, Tom Russell and Joel O'Connell attended Melbourne's main training session on Melbourne.
Smith's father, Brendan, played in a flag for Wodonga under Jeff Gieschen in 1987.
Smith said it was through that connection which opened the door to watch the Demons' training session.
"It all come about after dad played under Jeff at Wodonga," Smith said.
"So I contacted Jeff to see if he could organise through his contacts for a few of us to have a look around an AFL club.
"We went down Monday and sat in on their main session for the week.
"It was a fantastic experience and they were very welcoming and open.
"We got to chat to most of the assistant coaches about what they were trying to achieve at training.
"Simon Goodwin also spent five minutes talking to us and gave us a debrief about the session - we learnt a lot.
"We then spent the afternoon with Jeff and he shared a lot of his experiences in the AFL system and coaching Richmond."
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Smith said the main motivation of the trip was to gain an edge over their rivals.
"Obviously the AFL clubs have got resources and technology that we are never going to have in the bush," he said.
"But just to see how they train was interesting and we have picked out a few things that we can take back and implement into our sessions."
While Thurgoona were raging favourites to win the flag this year, Smith predicted the Bulldogs to be not as dominant next year.
"It's only early but it looks like being a tighter competition," he said.
"Thurgoona have lost a couple while both Kiewa-Sandy Creek and Barnawartha have recruited strongly.
"A few people are writing off Chiltern after they lost Rick Whitehead, but I'm not so sure.
"He didn't kick too many goals against us but they still beat us twice last year and have got some talented kids so I expect them to remain strong.
"But I'm also happy with the recruits we have been able to land and our kids are going to be better again next year."