Coach: Adam Mudra
Last year: Third (12-5-1)
Gains: Nicholas Beattie, Joshua Hicks, Chris Lewis (Wodonga), Dillon Blaszczyk (Sunshine Coast)
Losses: Tim Darcy (Jindera), Guy Telford (retirement)
Prospects: The Hawks have finished runner-up, premiers and third over the past three seasons and once again look a legitimate flag contender. Despite the losses of Tim Darcy and Guy Telford, arguably the Hawks appear stronger on paper with the addition of Nick Beattie, Josh Hicks and Chris Lewis who boast O&M experience. Hicks is a dual best and fairest with Wodonga while Beattie will help cover the loss of Telford alongside Mitch Paton who missed the business end of the season. Tim Darcy's departure is a blow and robs the Hawks of a recognised ruckman with no obvious replacement. If the Hawks can maintain their hunger they should take some toppling at the business end of the season.
Coaches comments: We will go into the season with our eyes wide open and expect all of last season's finalists to be challenging again.
Coach: Peter Cook
Last year: Runner-up (14-3-1)
Gains: Mitch Exton, Ben Kunkel (Benalla), Jordan Hansted (Glenrowan), Stephen Bradshaw (Federal), Jake Croucher (KSC), Ben Jones (Federal), Jack Robinson (Wodonga), Matthew Robinson (Yackandandah), Ryan Watson (Pyramid Hill),
Losses: Danny De Marte, Matt McNamara, Jordan Palmer (Corryong), Seamus Quinn (Henty) Matt Ladgrove (North Wang), Ryan Lempa (Geelong), Braiden Young (Chiltern) Jacob Schmidt (Henty)
Prospects: The Tigers have had a fair turnover of players over the summer but have emerged with a stronger list with Mitch Exton, Ben Kunkel and Jordan Hansted adding some serious class. Exton is a utility and won the Tigers' goalkicking before crossing to Benalla. Key defender Kunkel looms as an obvious replacement for Seamus Quinn while Hansted arrives with the reputation as one of the premier midfielders in the O and K. The Tigers have finished third and runner-up in the past two years and their premiership window looks wide open.
Coaches comments: With Thurgoona looking less dominant than recent seasons, it's shaping as a tight-natured competition and any side that contested finals last year could win the flag without surprising.
Coach: Brett Doswell
Last year: Premier (16-2)
Gains: Brett Rose (Mansfield),
Losses: Jake Bruce, Aydan Brown, Mark Haydon, Lucas Mellier (RWW), Cody Mannagh (Lavington), Rory Muggivan (Yea), Josh Maher, Matt Fowler (retired)
Prospects: History tells us every dynasty comes crashing down at some stage and, after winning three of the past four flags, the Bulldogs' golden era finally looks to be drawing to a close. Thurgoona has been rocked by a tumultuous off-season with the loss of at least eight premiership players. The departure of Josh Maher, Aydan Brown and Mark Haydon robs the Bulldogs of half their spine and coach Brett Doswell will be forced to reshuffle his ageing list to try and plug the gaps. The Bulldogs were also quiet on the recruiting front with Brett Rose the only addition over the summer. Although it would be a major shock to see the Bulldogs slip outside the top-five, they look to need further recruits to remain a flag threat.
Coaches comments: It's far from ideal to lose so many key players over the off-season and obviously it's going to hurt us, but it gives opportunities to younger guys.
Co-coaches: Luke Brookes and Ash Van Klaveren
Last year: Fourth (15-3)
Gains: Brad Hibberson (Wodonga Raiders), Zorran Bin Busu (Henty), Kyle Magee, Troy Marx (Wodonga), David Goodwin (Lavington), Braiden Young (Barnawartha), Bailey Evans (Bendigo)
Losses: Ricky Whitehead (Kalgoorlie City), Nathan Woods (Cudgewa)
Prospects: Proved to be last season's surprise packets after climbing from 10th to second on the ladder before suffering a straight sets finals exit. The Swans' major concern is covering the gaping hole left by the departure of best and fairest winner Ricky Whitehead. While match-winner's like Whitehead are irreplaceable the Swans look set to remain a finals force after keeping off-season departures to a bare minimum, while adding significant depth. Brad Hibberson returns to his junior club and will add some grunt to the midfield while speedster Zorran Bin Busu should thrive on the wide expanses of the Chiltern oval.
Coaches comments: Our aim is to finish top-three and give ourselves the best hope of progressing deep into September. There was a bit of doom and gloom surrounding the club when big slick Rick (Whitehead) decided to head west but most of that was external. Internally I know we have got a better list and it's going to be harder to pick a side each week.
Coach: Tyson Smith
Last year: Fifth (10-7-1)
Gains:Jack and Bob Russell, Khyle Goodman, Joel O'Reilly (Wodonga), Tom McKimmie (Federal), Aaron Baker (Holbrook), Sam Maher (retirement), Ethan Riddington (Cudgewa), Lachie Paton (Brighton)
Losses: Brenton Maddock (GGGM), Hamish O'Brien (Murray Bushrangers), Bailey McKimmie (Redan)
Prospects: Were a dangerous proposition when at full-strength highlighted by victories against both grand finalists in Thurgoona and Barnawartha. The recruits will add a lot more depth and the Hoppers will boast a lethal big man combination with Barton medallist Scott Spencer joined by Aaron Baker and Sam Maher although Baker is no certainty to play. Injuries to key forwards James Breen and Kaine Parsons before the finals robbed the Hoppers of going deep into September last year. They look primed and hungry to make amends.
Coaches comments: I don't want to put a ceiling on what we can achieve but, with the recruits and after enjoying a solid pre-season, we have given ourselves the best opportunity to certainly improve.
Coach: Aaron Lezius
Last year: Sixth (8-9-1)
Gains: Buster Green, Blake Moroney (Bullioh), Sam Huxtable (Wodonga Saints), Jackson Lezius (Culcairn), Tom Wortman (Wodonga), Guy Pendergast, Nathan Reynoldson, Joe Hodgkin, Alex Beggs
Losses: Drew Cameron (retired), Harry Moxey, Jack Wilson (Wodonga Raiders)
Prospects: The Mountain Men remained competitive last season but lacked enough A-grade talent to challenge the top-five. Newly-appointed coach Aaron Lezius has been able to keep departures to a minimum but the loss of Drew Cameron after undergoing a knee reconstruction is a blow.
Coaches comments: We are still in the mix for a few late recruits and if it does come to fruition we should boast a side capable of pushing for a finals berth.
Coach: Daniel Athanitis
Last year: Seventh (8-10)
Gains: James and Matthew Tanner (Cor-Ruth), Ian Kay (North Wang), Todd McNamara (Holbrook), Stephen Owen (Geelong)
Losses: Damien and Cameron Wilson (Cor-Ruth), Harrison Cowie, Josh Warren (North Wang), Jed Griffin (Osborne), Manny Hughes, William McCormack (Howlong), Dylon Simpson, Sam Scott (Henty), Ben Waite (Moyhu), Darcy Spinks (Billabong Crows)
Prospects: Rutherglen proved competitive last year but look to be on the slide with their departures robbing the Cats of significant depth. The loss of Damien Wilson hurts immensely.
Coaches comments: We will rely on our local talent to remain competitive and our aim is to make finals. Our depth is a bit of a concern but hopefully we can stay relatively injury free.
Coach: Darren Holmes
Last year: Eighth (7-11)
Gains: Nick Houston (Albury), John Walker (Picola league), RickyClarke (DMB), Chad Martin (Bright), Mitch Dinneen and Casey George (Wodonga), Lachie Baldock (Wo Saints)
Losses: Danny Atwell (Melbourne), Trent Castles (Cor-Ruth), Hayden Key (retired), Harry McBurnie (Tungamah), Matthew Spargo (Melbourne)
Prospects: Darren Holmes has spent recent seasons coaching the Roos' juniors so expect him to invest heavily in youth. Nick Donaghey has been elevated to skipper while Ray Farrugia, Harry Cox, Liam Williams and Ed Smith will be given chances.
Coaches comments: We've picked up some good recruits and I've said all along that I'll give the young blokes every opportunity if they put the work in.
Co-coaches: Brenton Surrey and Jay Dale
Last year: Ninth (7-11)
Gains: Jack Ardle (Tungamah), Finn Jakobsson, Henry McCormick, Jack Reiter (Wang Rovers), Connor Stone (Melbourne), Thomas Webb (Myrtleford), Richard Worcester (Cudgewa)
Losses: Jack Benjamin (Geelong), Edward Cartledge (Melbourne)
Prospects: Beechworth won five of its last seven matches to finish the season and newly appointed co-coaches Brenton Surrey and Jay Dale will be keen to build on the momentum.
Coaches comments: The top-five were a class above last year but I don't think that will be the case this season and if any of last year's finalists slip-up, hopefully we can be in a position to pounce.
Coach: Damien Jones
Last year: Tenth (5-12-1)
Gains: Damien Jones (Wodonga), Matt Lee (Howlong), Elliott Powell (Albury), Zeth Ward (Wodonga Raiders), Sam Mirtschin (KSC), Michael Sims (Bullioh), Josh Vinge (season off), Tom Blancad (Melbourne)
Losses: Ricky Clarke (Yackandandah), Liam Hood (Myrtleford), Dale Martin (Albury), Brent Ohlin (Federal)
Prospects: Damien Jones returns to his former club as coach and has had an immediate impact with the Bombers adding a lot more depth to their list compared to previous seasons. In the biggest recruiting coup of the off-season, Jones has been able to lure triple Albury premiership player Elliott Powell back to the club. Powell is set to assume the mantle as the premier player in the competition and in a scary proposition for rival clubs, Powell turns 26 this year and arguably still has his best football ahead of him. While there is little doubt the Bombers will improve, the jury remains out whether they can pinch the 11 wins normally required to play finals.
Coaches comments: I would be bitterly disappointed if we couldn't at least win a few more matches than we did last season. We boast a bit more experience and have to instill a bit of belief in the kids.
Co-coaches: Gerard Midson, Jesse Wellington
Last year: Eleventh (2-15-1)
Gains: Sheldon Anstey (Wod. Raiders), Jake Brown, Rory Doolan, (Border-Walwa), Cameron Eldridge (Coolaroo), Oliver Eustace (Barnawartha), Ryan Glover (Gympie), Patrick Hills (West Footscray), Joshua Latter (Tracy Village), Paul McQuilton-Miles (Carrara), Timothy Potter (Lismore), Will Simpson (Bullioh), Lachlan Wegener, Matthew Wegener (RWW Giants), Isaac Warren, Elijah Warren (Chiltern), Jordan Hewat (Kangaroo Flat)
Losses: Peter Mackinven, Ty Luton (Jindera), Henry Smith (Carrara), Hayden Hamilton, Bryon Williams (Culcairn), Lachlan Baldock (Yackandandah), Sam Huxtable (Mitta United)
Prospects: The Saints have landed a host of recruits and it would be a major surprise if they couldn't jump at least a couple of rungs up the ladder.
Coaches comments: We will boast a lot more depth and I would like to think half-a-dozen wins is achievable and anything above that is a bonus.
Co-coaches: Nathan Parker, Kodee Lowe
Last year: Twelfth (1-17)
Gains: Jordon Anthony, Bohdi Beasley (Jerilderie), Lincoln Ash, Jacob Beveridge, Deaken Clancy, Braden McLean, Alex Wallis, Matt Dutton (Corowa-Ruth), Jordan Villanueva (CDHBU), Brody Fitzpatrick (Greta), Fraser Elliott (Glenrowan), Dean Skinner (work commitments)
Losses: Cody Milne, Josh Clark (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Prospects: As expected Nathan Parker and Kodee Lowe endured a tough debut season in charge but luring former juniors back to the club was a recruiting priority over the off-season which has proven to be a sound tactic with the Lions adding some much needed depth.
Coaches comments: The club is undergoing a rebuilding phase and to be able to get an influx of recruits over the summer is a step in the right direction. We feel five or six wins is a realistic goal.