RELATED COVERAGE: Dogged Newborough on the hunt
Coach: Troy Hamilton
Last season: Premiers/First
Round one: Newborough
Mirboo North is out to make it two flags in a row and coach Troy Hamilton believes the first match will be a good barometer to measure its chances.
The Tigers will be undermanned for round one but there will be no excuses from round two when the bulk of the senior squad is available.
Minimal player movement means Mirboo North should again be a top side, with Tim Traill aiming for another 100-goal season.
IN: Brendan Weston (Alberton FL), Justin Pelicano (Leongatha)
OUT: Braydon Wilson (Yinnar), Andrew Smith (Warrnambool), Simon Fragiacomo, Jake Garde (Ellinbank FL), Brad Saunders (NGFL), Chris Irwin (AFL Sydney), Don Webb (retired), Morgan Clarke (Heathcote FL)
Coach: Glenn Michie
Last season: Runners-Up/Second
Round one: Mirboo North
A new coach and many fresh faces may give the Bulldogs an edge this season.
Good form in practice matches indicates they will again be a competitive team.
The grand final replay headlines round one and Newborough is pumped up and expecting to go one better.
IN: Glenn Michie (Hastings), Daniel Risol (Gormandale), Stuart Robertson,(Morwell), Michael Gelagotis (Trafalgar). Liam Carolan (Moe), Liam O’Farrell (Hill End), Troy Palmer (Hill End)
OUT: Alan Chandler (Churchill), Chris Wheller (NGFL), Terry Smith (AFL Townsville), Tyler Forte (Hill End), Liam Charles, Jaydon Van Dyke (Gippsland FL), Brad Platschinda (YYN), Steve Hibbs (NGFL)
Coach: Sam McCulloch
Last season: Third
Round one: Boolarra
The best team outside the grand final last year was Yinnar.
The Magpies are ready to take that a step further, although have lost some quality players.
With some good recruits to fill the void Yinnar is in a position to be a real challenge for this year’s finals.
IN: Tim Aitken (Traralgon), Glen Davey (NT), Mitchell Murphy-Douch (Boolarra), Brett Sherriff (Thorpdale), Brayden Wilson (Boolarra), Dallas King (Northern FL), Anderson Edwards (Ellinbank FL)
OUT: Josh Swift (NT), ThysStanistreet (Morwell), Jake Roe-Duggan (NT), Simon O’Donnell (NT)
Coach: Jason McFarlane
Last season: Fourth
Round one: Hill End
Under a new coach and with few changes at Trafalgar, the Bloods want to experience another grand final.
With the help of talented juniors they just may make it.
Only a couple of players have left and the Bloods should again be a force this season.
OUT: Blake Slater (NGFL), Tim Keily (Northern FL), Michael Gelagotis (Newborough), Jayden Dawson (AFL Capricornia), Dean Barker (Essendon DFL), Jarrod Dyke (Hill End)
Coach: Tony Giardina
Last season: Fifth
Round one: Yinnar
The Demons had a good season in 2013 but according to coach Tony Giardina 2014 will be much bigger.
He said it was disappointing not to have juniors in the mix this year, but “we’ll be giving it our all”.
An influx of new players will help Boolarra take that step higher this season.
IN: Dwayne Brand (Churchill), Steve Tobin Jnr (Rosedale), Matthew Wigg (NGFL)
OUT: Tristan Salerno (Mirboo Nth), Michael O’Sullivan (Alberton FL), Anthony Mobourne (Morwell East), Wayne Hecker (YYN), Jordan Cargill (AFL Barwon), Craig Blackberry (Alberton FL), Mitchell Dodd (VAFA) , Justin Emery (NTFL), Luke Anedda (NGFL), Shane Gardner (WAFA)
Coach: Phil Town
Last season: Sixth
Round one: Trafalgar
One of the big improvers last season, the Hillmen are ready to step up and get to the finals in what would be a boon for the town.
It has been a long time coming but with hard work the Hillmen may surprise.
The club has secured quality players and has set a goal to finish higher than last year.
IN: Robert Bayley (Morwell), Tyler Forte (Newborough), Phillip Dow (YYN), Jarrod Dyke (Trafalgar), Thomas Williamson (Yarragon)
OUT: Simon Noy (Morwell), Adam Mitchell (Ellinbank FL), Luke Verbaten (AFL Townsville), Liam O’Farrell (Newborough), Troy Palmer (Newborough), Sam Murray (Gippsland FL), Rhys Lee (AFL Queensland)
Coach: Nathan Scurrah
Last season: Seventh
Round one: Morwell East
With plenty of new faces the ‘Dales are optimistic of getting above the pack and a new coach gives them added incentive to get their game together.
Nathan Scurrah knows it’s going to be a hard season but with hard work his goals are achievable.
An exciting prospect is expected to join the club in the next few weeks.
IN: Kris Bedford (Picola FL), Wayne Carmody (TTU), Paul McKenzie, Thomas McKenzie (NGFL), Brendan Santurini (Ellinbank FL), Nathan Scurrah (Morwell), Shane Zahra (Yarragon)
OUT: Ben Willis (Gippsland FL), Thomas Small (VAFA), Andrew Slevison, (Eastern FL), Brett Sherriff (Yinnar), Cameron O’Brien (NGFL), Lucas Jenkinson (Gippsland FL), Alex Jenkinson (YYN), Gavin Colosimo (Eastern FL), Ben Carboni (Eastern FL), Dylan Bentley (Gippsland FL), Rob Devine (Newborough)
Coach: Paul Henry
Last season: Eighth
Round one: Thorpdale
The East has picked up some valuable recruits and could be pencilled in as the improvers of the season provided they can win the close games.
With Morwell premiership player Jack Brown on board in a coaching and playing role it could be an exciting time at the Hawks.
IN: Jack Brown (Morwell), KalobMcCubbin (Morwell), Max Morton (Glengarry), Anthony Mobourne (Boolarra), Nathan-Lee Nikodenski (Churchill), Lia Roof (Gormandale), Brad Soutar (Morwell), Tim Spottiswood (Tasmania State), BuayRuof, (Moe), MajokMonydhot (Golden Rivers FL), Jake Swanson (Morwell)
Coach: Anthony Pavey
Last season: Ninth
Round one: Yallourn-Yallourn North
It is going to be a big season for the Panthers and with some well developed home grown talent and fresh faces they may be a force this season. They’ll need to win more than two games to show any improvement
IN: David Bates (Ellinbank FL), Dylan Blytte (VAFA), Joeby Byers (Ellinbank FL), Earl Daniel (Gormandale), Stewart Edwards, Andrew Hewson, (Southern FL), Marc Jolly (Ellinbank FL), Brad Roberts (Gippsland FL). Tim Edwards (Capricornia AFL)
OUT: Shane Zahra (Thorpdale), Zack Regester (Ellinbank FL), Sam Cougle (Moe) Thomas Williamson (Hill End)
Coach: David Ivey
Last season: 10th
Round one: Yarragon
A big task for a new coach but David Ivey is a hard playing leader.
With him as a figurehead and new recruits on deck the Bombers may lift themselves off the canvas and be a force again.
IN: Tyler Brown (Gippsland FL), Wayne Hecker (Boolarra), Alex Jenkinson (Thorpdale), Craig McGuigan (Eastern FL), Matthew Nelson (Traralgon), Ryan Plunkett (Morwell), Daniel Martin (Newborough), Brad Platschinda (Newborough), David Ivey (Gormandale), Aiden Bugeja (Newborough), Andrew Shaw (East Gippsland FL)
OUT: Lucas Fry (Gippsland FL), Phillip Dow (Hill End)