The increased challenge of recruiting has only strengthened Lavington's resolve to develop the most exciting young players on its books.
New coach Dylan Weeding won't be wheeling out any new faces when the season starts on October 23 but the former East Albury mentor is excited by the prospect of the talent at his disposal.
Taking charge of the reigning premiers, his remit is clear.
"We've got some really good 16 and 17-year-old kids in Oscar Lyons and Eddy Schultheis and it's getting them ingrained in the structure of our club," Weeding said.
"It's so hard to recruit guys locally now that the future of your club sits within that age bracket. You need to hold onto those kids and really develop them.
"Lavi have been the benchmark or thereabouts for the last couple of years so we're lucky that we can massage those boys in, rather than just throwing them in and saying 'go and find your way.'
"We've got some really good players to work with them and be there for them through that journey."
Both players, top-order batters, scored the majority of their runs in second-grade cricket last season but are determined to make the step up.
"Oscar hits the ball cleanly," Weeding said.
"Over the last couple of years I've had a fair bit to do with him through the Riverina academy and he's started to understand batting in gears.
"He's not coming out all guns blazing but equally he doesn't just sit there and face out maiden after maiden. He's got the shots and he's started to understand when to use them.
"There will be times in games when he is able to do that but there will also be times when he'll have to come out and fight hard for us.
"A few of the boys have said he's almost a different kid to last year.
"Six months is a long time for kids of that age, where they start to find their way with other things like school, work and life in general.
"He's no longer a boy, he's a young man, and I'm really excited to see him come on again.
"Eddy's a year younger but he's had a massive pre-season, hit thousands of balls and done a fair bit of hard work.
"He's a big strong kid with a massive future."
The attitude of both players has already caught their coach's eye.
"It's that age where natural talent only gets you so far," Weeding said.
"You see it all the time in the pathway stuff where naturally talented players get to their ceiling and then it comes down to whether you want to work really hard to get better or you're happy just being what you are.
"Those two boys have both proved to me in the last six to eight weeks alone that they really want to do the work.
"Eddy is running 5k every day, hitting thousands of balls and Oscar's the same.
"He's really put his head down and said 'I want to play senior cricket and I want to be good doing it' rather than just making up the numbers.
"He really wants to fit in and play a role for our team.
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"The talent is there, it's about attitude now and I think they've both got it between the ears to say 'righto, how do we get to the next level?' which is really exciting."
So what are the hurdles Weeding has faced when it comes to recruitment?
"Blokes are happy where they're playing," he said.
"Some people don't want to play T20 or one-day cricket, they're two-day cricketers so they're not playing at all.
"There are just so many options as to where you can play.
"It's good we have 32 clubs in the region but with that amount of teams, we probably don't have the talent across Albury-Wodonga to really load up the top sides.
"I've pushed the same message for the last five or six years at East Albury as well. It's really important you can grow your own and bring kids through because it's easier than trying to generate the funds to pay people to come and play for you.
"That's not the path we want to go down and we didn't do any recruiting this year because we're pretty happy with the squad we've got.
"These young boys coming through will top up what we lost but our core group is a pretty good age to be playing A-grade cricket, all around that 28 to 32 mark."
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