Orange City Lions head coach Viv Paasi hasn't tasted victory in his short tenure as the club's mentor but has reason to believe 2020 could be the year where the Lions turn a few heads in the Blowes Clothing Cup competition.
The season draw was released on Friday and Paasi's men are set to open up the campaign with a bye before playing host to Dubbo Kangaroos in round two.
With clubs scrambling to finalise their playing structures before the season starts on July 18, Paasi can see the positives in getting an extra week's rest before their opener, but also admitted there's two sides to that coin.
"Our first game will be against a side that's already got 80 minutes of football under its belt," Paasi said.
"So, I don't necessarily see the first week bye as an advantage but I don't think it's a disadvantage either."
Something that should work in the Lions' favour this season is the fact that they only square off the defending premiers once and even though
Paasi knows the round five meeting will be challenging, he's not prepared to label the Bulldogs as the benchmark in an off-season where there's been so much player turnover.
"They've obviously got some very good coaches there and a great system... you don't win premierships by turning up and having a laugh," he said.
"Everyone's going to be out to beat them but I don't know what their team's going to look like.
"They might get a few league players like Orange now that those competitions have been cancelled."
In a coup for the Lions, they've recruited a host of Group 10 players who were looking for action after the competition was canceled at the start of the month.
Throw a few league players into the mix with some Sydney recruits, and Paasi will be faced with some hard decisions come game time.
"The side looks pretty good at the moment... we've got quite a bit of interest from the league guys as well as a few players from Sydney who came before the season," he said.
"All the league guys are from first grade as well which is good. They brought a certain level of professionalism to training.
"How they fit into the team I'm not sure. If they all play, there will be some selection headaches for sure but those are pretty good headaches to have."
Coaches usually set results-based goals before a season starts and even though his side won't be among premiership picks when you ask pundits, Paasi's got his sights set on a postseason berth.
"If we can play finals football in the top grade it would be a great achievement after a couple of hard seasons," he said.
"We've got seven games to prove our worth."
Paasi knows sides don't make the finals by accident and says it all starts on the training paddock.
"Every sessions counts and every rep counts," he said.
"We can't come in and take our time getting into training. From the moment we get there we need to be dialled in."
The coaching staff and playing group is set to have a meeting next week to discuss the goals, standards and values in the lead-up to the 2020 Blowes Clothing Cup season.
The Lions will kick-off their winter with a round two clash against Dubbo Kangaroos at Pride Park, before taking on Emus at Endeavour Oval.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...