NORTH Ballarat City is again shaping up as the Ballarat Football League powerhouse in its bid for back-to-back premierships.
Three premiership players are on the way out, but a string of strong recruits has coach Rob Waters confident his side can be even stronger than last year.
Tyler George will play at Newtown and Chilwell in the Geelong Football League this year, while ruckman/key forward Mick Williams and midfielder Jake Hicks will both be overseas.
However four-time Henderson medallist Jarrod Edwards has been confirmed as a Northie, Marcus Darmody has joined from North Ballarat Roosters, as has Jarryd Graham, who is returning to his junior club.
Waters said his side was shaping up to be even fitter than last year, with some star players who missed out on a premiership medal through injury also recuperating well.
Star forward Derrick Micallef has recovered from a broken back sustained in last year’s finals series, although Tristan Cartledge is expected to be a late starter for season 2014 with a broken hand.
“We’re probably a bit fitter than we were at this time last year,” Waters said.
“But in saying that, we don’t even think about last year now. What happened last year is last year, it’s all done and dusted now.”
Darmody played a total of 37 senior VFL games for the Roosters over four years and is also a former North Ballarat Rebel.
“They’re some pretty handy guys to have at the club but overall we’ve kept it pretty much the same,” Waters said.
North City will kick off its 2014 campaign against Redan on Saturday, April 12.