SEASON 2018 was one of milestones for the Bathurst Giants as they fielded two senior teams and qualified both for the Central West AFL finals, but this year they are aiming higher.
On Wednesday afternoon as the senior branch of the club launched its season, the talk was about good player depth and building on 2018.
Once again Liz Kennedy will guide the Giants women - an outfit which finished as runners-up in last year's inaugural campaign - while Mark Kennedy is coaching the men.
Mark Kennedy, who has moulded his team from strugglers into an outfit which missed out on qualifying for last year's grand final by just two points, is excited about what lies ahead.
"The numbers are good in our youth girls and women's and the numbers are filtering up from our under 12s and under 14s programs as well, so it's looking really good," he said.
"Our side, we've only lost two players from last season, so we are looking really good. Nath Belbin, it's just too much of a commitment for him to travel, he's on the Central Coast.
"The other player we lost is Franky Bright, who is establishing the Cowra side now. He was really good for us last year, he really enjoyed his footy, and I think playing with our younger guys reinvigorated his love of the game.
"We'll see how Cowra go. We'll do everything we can to support them and keep them in the competition, because it's really important for the league to have Cowra involved.
"The more teams the better."
Though the Giants have not played any pre-season fixtures thus far and won't before the opening bounce, Kennedy is happy with how his players are tracking.
They include a new recruit from the Murray Football League and former Bathurst Bushranger Sean Noyen.
"We are on track, our pre-season, it's going awesomely," Kennedy said.
"We've picked up young Saxon, he's joined us from Deniliquin. He's played some footy down there but he's come up and wants to have a run with us.
"He plays in the ruck or at centre forward, he's a big, solid body at six-foot-four-and-a-half and 104 kilos. So he'll be a good target for us.
We've got all these juniors we've been developing for the last few years that are adults now.Mark Kennedy
"Sean Noyen, who's come over from the Bushrangers, he was with us last year but couldn't play because of his knee injury. He's going really well and is busting out of his boots to get on the ground."
Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here
In the main Kennedy's line-up will be the same as last season. The junior talents who have already played an important role in the Giants' transitioning into a title threat are again going to be crucial.
The coach has no doubt they will rise to the challenges which lie ahead.
"We've got all these juniors we've been developing for the last few years that are adults now. You've got your Mitch Taylors, Sam Sloan, Nic Broes, Aiden Macauley," he said.
"They've been playing together since they've done Auskick, so it's a good little mesh. Like Oscar Mann is coming on leaps and bounds from training, Reilly Mitchell is running the house down, he's as fit as he's ever been."
While the Bathurst Giants have the first round bye on April 6, Kennedy is thinking about staging a possibles versus probables game at George Park 1.