A new-look Upper Murray league will feature solely one grade of senior football, and without Border-Walwa taking the field in 2020, competition will be fierce for the four available finals spots. Can Bullioh make it three straight after stunning Cudgewa in the decider last year?
Coach: Joe Bolton and Kelvin Wallace
Last year: Premier
Gains: Ben Hanley (Albury), Jack Wilson (Mitta United), Todd Wallace, Jacob Curran
Losses: Michael Sims (Dederang-Mount Beauty), Will Simpson (Wodonga), John McCabe (Kiewa-Sandy Creek), Ben Parker, Brendan Smith (Mitta United)
Prospects: The Bulldogs have a strong chance to claim three consecutive premierships. With the competition dropping its reserves in 2020, Bullioh has the luxury most clubs don't with an abundance of senior players, so depth shouldn't be an issue.
Comment (Kelvin Wallace): "Our plan was to re-sign all the premiership players from last year and we've pretty well done that. Michael Sims is a pretty big loss, but in saying that we've regained some pretty handy players and we're tracking alright at the moment."
Coach: Danny De Marte
Last year: Fifth (4-11)
Gains: Danny De Marte, Matt McNamara, Jordan Palmer, Dylan Nowak (Barnawartha), Nathan Grimes, Adrian Rijnbeek, John Anderson, Steve Wangman
Prospects: A host of experienced names have landed at the club from Barnawartha, including newly-appointed senior coach Danny De Marte. Several players who featured in the Demons' last premiership in 2017 are back on deck and should bring Corryong into flag contention. May still find it hard to match the likes of Bullioh and Cudgewa, but won't be in danger of missing finals.
Comment (Danny De Marte): "We've maintained the core senior group from last year, guys like Evan Nicholas, Mitch Harris and Peter Jeffries are still there. Thomas Nicholas had his knee done last year and he'll be right to go if and when we get off the ground. There's a lot of people with bigger problems than footy, but I don't think we should understate how important local footy is to communities, especially communities that are pretty remote like the Upper Murray. Off the back of the bushfires, every community in the league was heavily affected, so it's an important social outlet to bring them together. Financially as well, it brings people to town on game day. It's more than just 30-odd blokes chasing around a bit of leather."
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Coach: Brayden Carey
Last year: Runner-up
Gains: Michael Voight (Tarrawingee), Josh Garland, Sean Garland (Howlong), Nathan Woods, Jye Davis (Chiltern), Kylin Morey (Brock-Burrum), Mark Thornton (Melbourne)
Losses: Richard Worcester (Beechworth), Ethan Riddington (Tallangatta)
Prospects: Will be hungry to go one better in 2020 having dropped just one game all season prior to the grand final loss against Bullioh. Have recruited well by welcoming a host of experienced players from other leagues. Securing Kylin Morey full-time is another big coup having booted 14 goals in his two games for the Blues last season before returning to Brock-Burrum.
Comment (Brayden Carey): "It's been a tough start to the year with the fires, but we'll press on and do what we can when we can. Footy to a majority of us up there comes second at the moment. They've had fires and then the floods and now this (COVID-19), they just can't catch a break at the moment. Once we do kick off, everything should be right and it will be back to normality a little bit."
Coach: Brent Ohlin
Last year: Third (7-7-1)
Gains: Riley Saxon, Jack Miller, Sam Harrison (Tallangatta), Jordan Armstrong (Wodonga), Ashley Tyrell, Alex Harris (year off), Ash Greenhill (Border-Walwa)
Losses: Tom McKimmie (Tallangatta), Steve Fouracre (Howlong), Stephen Bradshaw, Ben Jones (Barnawartha)
Prospects: Have lost league best and fairest Tom McKimmie to Tallangatta and more experience in former coach Steve Fouracre and Stephen Bradshaw. Three handy additions from Tallangatta's thirds premiership side should give the Swans some more leg speed. Will still play a part in finals.
Comment (Brent Ohlin): "We'd had good numbers at training and it was giving people a good outlet from the fires. The community has been absolutely smashed over summer and a few weeks ago one of our players took his own life. It's absolutely rocked us as a club and a community and we're very much reeling from that. We're very much in damage control trying to recover from that. An important aspect is giving those young blokes somewhere to go, be social and get away from day to day life because they're doing it very tough up there unfortunately."
Coach: Quinn Rooney
Last year: Fourth (7-8)
Gains: James Waters (Lavington), Callum Brooksby (Albury), Phil Bird, Jack Kelly
Losses: Mitch Fennessy, Ryan Kirkwood, Wayne Bryon (GGGM), Reece Borg (Coleambally), James Crozier (Northern Districts Tigers), Wayne Rolla (East Wagga-Kooringal),
Prospects: The Roos' losses will be tough to cover with the bulk of their travelling players from Wagga, including former coach Mitch Fennessy, not returning to the club this season. Ruck stocks are also depleted with the loss of James Crozier, who has relocated to Wollongong. Face an uphill battle to play finals after finishing fourth in 2019.
Comment (Quinn Rooney): "We've basically gone back to a full local side, we haven't really got anyone that hasn't played for the club before. Mont Waters' (club president) son James is coming up, he's been playing at Lavington and he's a good get. If he can get a ruckman for us we'll be pretty happy I think. We've got a few options, but we need a young one to be the first ruck option. I don't think any of the Wagga boys from last year are going to play."