Dawson Simpson (GWS Giants), Taylor Hunt (Old Collegians), Lachie Hourigan (Wangaratta), Lachie Pember (Western Australia), Liam Hood (Dederang Mount Beauty), Frazer Dale (time off with horse racing career)
Blake Parker, Jake Richards (work commitments)
Kurt Aylett (Essendon), Matt Munro (Werribee)
THE SAINTS HAVEN'T PLAYED WITH EXPECTATION SINCE MAKING THE 2006 GRAND FINAL, CAN THEY COPE WITH IT?
If they can, they could well be celebrating snapping a 50-year premiership drought - the league's longest. And last year was a good sign. There was a buzz about the Saints. Even though they hadn't played finals in three years, they showed an ability to perform, winning all the way through to the preliminary final. Throw in ex-AFL players Dawson Simpson and Taylor Hunt and there's no reason the club can't win the decider.
HOW GOOD WILL TAYLOR HUNT BE?
Like most ex-AFL players, as good as he wants to put in. Hunt played 105 games across nine seasons at Geelong and Richmond. Ex-Albury star Chris Hyde, for example, played 93 and was one of the league's best, winning a Morris Medal. Sure, Hunt never had premiership glory at the Cats or Tigers, but there's no shame there in those awesome sides. The Saints will be banking on him loving his footy and playing accordingly.
OF THE CLOSE GAMES LAST YEAR, MYRTLEFORD WON SEVEN OF NINE, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN THIS YEAR?
If they a win a couple of the close ones, it means a lot. If they lose a couple, forget last year. That's what confidence does to you. If you keep following the same path, everything is 'hunky-dory'. If you lose, you start doubting yourself.
FRAZER DALE PLAYED TWO MATCHES FOR CARLTON IN 2012 AND REPRESENTED THE LEAGUE IN HIS LAST YEAR IN 2017 BEFORE TAKING TWO YEARS OFF TO PURSUE A CAREER IN HORSE RACING, CAN HE GET BACK TO HIS BEST?
It comes down to how much he wants it. You never lose your talent, but two years away is a long time. However, the local product will be desperate to be a part of what could be an unforgettable year. Given the Saints picked up the ex-AFL players, the prospect of Dale kicking classy goals just adds another weapon.
MORE FOOTY FORM: Roos look to profile forwards to at least double wins in 2020
Q&A with Paul Harrington
Q: There's so much expectation around Myrtleford after finishing third and picking up two ex-AFL players in Dawson Simpson and Taylor Hunt, along with the fact it's 50 years since the club won its only flag, do the players embrace the hype or not?
I think you try and keep a lid on it as much as you can, although you do embrace it a little bit, we embraced it last year and we used that as momentum, but you can't get ahead of yourself.
Q: Was last year an ideal dress rehearsal?
Yeah, I think it will help. We played in some big games in those finals and a lot of close games during the year, so that will stand us in good stead.
ALSO IN SPORT:
Q: You had nine games where the result was 19 points or less and you won seven, a remarkable strike rate, what do you put that down to?
I think a lot of it was sticking to (coach) Jake's structures and game plan really, not going away from what was working earlier in the game. That's how you lose those close games when you start playing hero football or trying to be remarkable rather than reliable.
Q: How has your big recruit and the league's highest-profile newcomer Dawson Simpson settled in?
He's loving it and he's taken a fair bit of training. He's really been embraced by the group, everybody loves him.