Albury will be out to avenge missing their first Ovens and Murray grand final since 2008 when they take on Yarrawonga in Saturday's opening match of the season at the Albury Sportsground.
If the mail is right, expect them to be full of running.
Anthony Miles (Gold Coast), Jeff Garlett (Melbourne), Jacob and Lucas Conlan (Griffith), Shaun Driscoll (Wagga Tigers), Kane Flack (North Wagga), Jack Driscoll (The Rock-Yerong Creek), Fletcher Carroll (Heidelberg), Sam Hodge (Uni Blues), Chris Lockhart (Berrigan), Ben Dunkanson (Queensland), Dylan McDonald (injured), Cooper Page (Melbourne)
Elliott Powell (Dederang-Mt Beauty), Chris Hyde (retired), Joel Mackie (Osborne), Brady Morton (Wagga Tigers), Fraser Duryea (South Barwon), Ben McIntosh (Yackandandah)
QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH ANTHONY MILES
Q: When did you last play a game in the Ovens and Murray?
A: It was the preliminary final in 2010 against Yarrawonga. I was 18 and playing with the Murray Bushrangers at the time. I think I played four or five games for North that season.
Q: You were appointed co-coach of Albury in September last year. How is life as a senior O and M coach?
A: It's been really good. I've loved meeting new people and a really hungry young group. It's energised me seeing young guys coming in and wanting to get better. We had 60 people at our jumper presentation last week which was fantastic.
Q: Do you miss the rigours of AFL footy?
A: I miss the coming in day to day. Round one last week I missed it for the first time really. I've loved the coaching side of things at Albury and being around family and friends here on the Border. I'm loving meeting people.
Q: What do you miss most about AFL?
A: The relationships you make, the banter and the connection between the players.
Q: It sounds like Luke Daly and yourself are working well together?
A: He's been fantastic for me in terms of support. He has a good landscape of the entire Ovens and Murray and what it looks like. We bounce ideas off each other all the time.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
CAN ALBURY BOUNCE BACK FROM A DISAPPOINTING FINISH TO 2019?
While Wangaratta look the team to beat, the Tigers will be coming hard. They have injected pace into the side with Jeff Garlett, Fletcher Carroll and Shaun Driscoll coming on board and they will see more of Murray Bushrangers youngsters like Charlie Byrne and Paddy Parnell with a shortened NAB League season. The Conlan brothers are coming along nicely in key positions and you can chalk co-coach Anthony Miles down for 30-plus possessions most weeks.
HOW FIT ARE THE TIGERS?
One long-time Tiger official hasn't seen the playing group in better shape for years after being put through a gruelling pre-season by Pat Scammell, Aaron West and the coaching staff.
WHERE WILL FAVOURITE SON SHAUN DALY PLAY THIS SEASON?
He's played in almost every position on the ground during his decorated career, but the Tigers are likely to settle him into defence. He's spent time there over the pre-season and Daly's coolness under pressure is going to be crucial particularly against opposition sides like Wangaratta who have a plethora of tall forwards.
While Albury isn't in the same boat as Wangaratta Rovers, the Tigers, Wangaratta and Myrtleford will be walking the tightrope with the player points system. Anthony Miles and Jeff Garlett carry six points each so there will be little wriggle room when everyone is available.
HOW MUCH WILL CLUB LEGEND CHRIS HYDE BE MISSED AFTER ANNOUNCING HIS RETIREMENT LAST MONTH?
Enormously. He's played as big a role as anyone at Albury during the club's golden era with his lethal left-foot bringing countless opposition sides unstuck since 2009. Seven premierships, two Albury best and fairests, a Morris Medal and Did Simpson Medal mean he's a lock for Ovens and Murray Hall of Fame honours down the track.
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