With Orange City resuming training in front of the burned-out wreckage of the club's grandstand which was set alight in November, there's a metaphor somewhere about the Lions rising from the ashes in 2020.
However, coach Viv Paasi isn't buying into metaphors, saying key inclusions and - more importantly - a fresh look and feel at the club are the keys to success following a torrid two years.
The most important boost for the Lions is the confirmation skipper Josh Tremain will return to the field.
Lions coach Viv Paasi said he'd been to training sessions in the off-season and would be back for 2020.
"Josh has been at all the trainings which is great," Paasi said.
"He was our captain last year and has been captain of the club for quite some time so it's great to have him back onboard in regards to his leadership.
"We probably missed that in the back half of last season, just a couple of older heads to help the younger group back around is huge."
He said the club was "so impressed" with the way he'd managed himself mentally and physically to get back onto the field.
"He's got that tough guy image but through the whole process it was interesting to watch how hard it was for him but impressive to see how he got through those dark moments and he leaned on us when he needed it and vice versa," Paasi said.
"It's the old Blocker that's back, that fun chirpy guy everyone looks up to and loves having around. It's good to have him back."
Paasi said he wasn't the only change to the squad for 2020, with Tom Fenton a familiar face who's returned for the club after several seasons away from the game, while several other names will line up.
New Zealander Lupe Siale has moved to Orange and has lined up with the club while Kieran Bonin will also join the Lions.
"Kieran's played a bit down at Randwick and at Sydney Uni and he's moved to town due to work. He's very hand and has a great attitude and they're already starting to set the standard," Paasi said.
"They'll likely line up in the back row and in the centres, where they end up who knows but it's likely back row and centres. Kieran can play anywhere in the back five which is important for us."
Tremain and the new additions bring much-needed experience to the Lions after two years with just the one win, and adding more depth will be the biggest factor in improving the club.
"We were always able to put a competitive 15 on the field but as soon as we started to cop injuries it was really hard to back-fill that," Paasi said.
"It's nothing against the players who took their places so we're bringing that skill level up of the guys in the development area and back-filling with quality players."
However, it's growth of juniors such as former colt Darcy Holmes which is giving Paasi the most confidence.
He said everything the mood had been "really positive" around the club.
"The mood's really good, positive, we sort of had a chat after the season last year and we said we need to not worry about footy for the next few months ... we were big on making sure we stepped away from rugby and had a think about how we went about it.
"There were plenty of positives to take away from last year but not making guys come back too early has really seemed to freshen them up."
The club has had a "complete overhaul" in how their gameplan works - with Paasi not giving much away, even 10 weeks out from the season - but a major boost to coaching numbers is also helping shape an off-field overhaul.
"We weren't all on the same page at the same time during part of last year and part of the coaching overhaul is making sure if any of the players aren't up to scratch we're able to pull them aside and have a chat," Paasi said.
"It seems like we're in a better-placed position but as to what that means on the field we'll see."
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