Here is your comprehensive preview of the Ballarat Football Netball League 2019 season.
Bacchus Marsh Cobras
The Cobras are looking to go a few steps further in the 2019 season after bowing out in the first round of last season's finals.
The club has had to rebuild on the fly due to a large number of their players not returning due to a combination of retirements and being recruited elsewhere.
Returning coach Michael Saker said even with the loss of some key members of their side, he expects the Cobras to continue to succeed in the BFNL.
"I'm confident that we have the ability to get back to the finals," he said.
"There are a lot of new looking teams in the competition and I feel that we're strong enough to compete with the best of them."
Bacchus Marsh's attack will be bolstered by the addition of former Ballarat Swan Annie Hills while their defence will get an injection of youth from sisters Mia and Tilly White who are have been promoted from the under 19s competition.
Michael Saker (returning)
Nine wins and six losses.
Annie Hills (attack)
Ashlee Mitchell (attack)
Marie Bolitho (mid-court)
Mia White (defense)
Tilly White (defense)
After a few years of falling short when it came time for finals Swans coach Lisa James is very confident this will be their year.
"I'd be disappointed if we didn't make final this year," she said.
James believes their key position recruits is going to go a long way in putting consistent points on the board.
"The additions of Lydia Jordan and Rachel Gorwich at goal attack and goal shooter are going to help us capitalise on our opportunities."
James is putting the pressure of success squarely on herself ahead of their first game.
"We've got the talent," she said.
"If we can't succeed with these players it's going to be on me as a coach."
Lisa James (returning)
Seven wins and nine losses.
Lydia Jordan (attack)
Rachel Grawich (attack)
Amelia Cross (defense)
Greta Stevens (mid-court)
Keiarah Brooks (attack)
Abbey Flower (mid-court)
2018 was a difficult year for the Devils as they took a step back in the competition, falling to second last at seasons end.
The departure of new coach Chris Bandel to Daylesford has left the team with a sense of instability going into the 2019 season.
The biggest area for improvement for the Devils will be on the defensive end where they allowed the most goals in the league by a wide margin.
Look for Darley to focus on developing youth and looking towards the future.
Two wins and 14 losses.
East Point Kangaroos
After falling to North Ballarat City in last year's grand final there is a sense of unfinished business for the Kangaroos in 2019.
Returning coach Jo Bayles believes last year's defeat has only helped her side identify where they needed to improve upon to hopefully take home the premiership in 2019.
"We've recognised where we can do better on the court," she said.
"A lot of it comes down to our composure and mental ability to deal with adversity."
The Kangaroos will welcome back the dominant mid-court trio of Sarah Bourke, Clare Banwell and Kate Martin who all missed 2018 after having children.
The return of Jemma Mirabella from an ACL tear and addition of Georgia Corbett from North Warrnambool will also add to East Point's versatility going forward.
Jo Bayles (returning)
11 wins and five losses, lost in the grand final.
Sarah Bourke (mid-court)
Clare Banwell (mid-court)
Kate Martin (mid-court)
Georgia Corbett (defense)
Lake Wendouree Lakers
After putting together a strong 2018 season and falling in a close semi-final, the Lakers are hoping their finals experience will reap rewards in 2019.
The addition of some returning club greats from having children (former best and fairest winner Emma Gill and Mel Allen) will add some experience to a young team says coach Katie Williams.
"We've retained a lot of our great young players and we believe the returns of Emma and Mel will help with their development," she said.
The Lakers round one match against East Point will be a special one as club legend Kara Hart will play here 300 game.
Hart is a two-time best and fairest winner, four time premiership player and six time member of the BFNL Team of the Year.
Katie Williams (returning)
10 wins, four losses and one draw.
Mel Allen (attack)
Emma Gill (defense)
Kate Drew (defense)
After managing only one win over the past two seasons the only way is up for the Bloods in 2019.
A host of new players both from the BFNL and other leagues will play a large role for the Bloods.
New coach Melissa Climas believes Melton has the skills to push toward the top six but knows it won't be easy.
"For us the biggest thing is going to be getting wins on the board," she said.
"We just need to gell, there's definately work to be done but that's not to say I don't expect success."
Melissa Climas (new)
Zero wins and 16 losses.
Keely Boudrie (attack and defense)
Devonte Ulu'ave (defense)
Sarah Vaughan (mid-court)
Alexis de Ruiter (attack)
Ashlee Vaughan (attack)
Melton South Panthers
There is a sense of nervous excitement around Melton South as they look to crack into the finals picture after narrowly missing out on the final spot in 2018.
New coach Anna Edmonds is anxiously waiting for round one to see her how new look team jell's together.
"Across the preseason I've been really impressed," she said.
"We've seen players jell together really well, everybody seems to know their role and is staying positive."
The Panthers will welcome in four new players to their A grade side with a heavy focus on getting the ball effectively into their attacking area.
Taking the step into contention is a big one, but it's one the Panthers are confident in making.
"Our goal is to be a finals team," Edmonds said.
Anna Edmonds (new)
Seven wins and eight losses.
Savannah Forbes (attack)
Rata Hunia (attack)
Payton Ozols (mid-court)
Kali Joyce (mid-court)
North Ballarat City
North is looking to continue their dominance in the BNFL as they search for their third premiership in five years.
An eight goal victory over East Point capped off what had been a very strong year for North and coach Annie McCartin is confident they have the talent to make their fifth consecutive grand final.
"I've got the confidence in my girls," she said.
"Once they're out on the court they display a great team ethic together so I do think have confidence that way."
North's premiership team will welcome in three new players. 2015 premiership player and dominant shooter Jordan Bibby makes her return to the club following a stint with Beaufort and Zoey Nevit and Remy Hooper have been promoted to the A grade squad.
McCartin spoke about how important player development is to North as a club.
"We've got a very strong junior base," she said.
"We're very lucky here at North - as soon as we need a fill in those girls get an opportunity to have a taste of what A grade is like."
While McCartin did not identify any teams she is looking out for going into the season, she believes the entire league will pose a challenge in their pursuit for back-to-back premierships.
"Last year looking at the ladder there was nothing between us all and I envisage it will be exactly the same this year because everyone will be recruiting, they'll be giving their young ones a go.
"Nearly every team in the BFNL you've got to show respect for."
Annie McCartin (returning)
12 wins and three losses, won the premiership.
Jordan Bibby (attack)
The 2019 season is set to be a rebuilding year for the Lions as a new coach and almost entirely new team will take the court in round one.
Hayley Munro will be at the helm for Redan this year and she believes that their focus will be set on building their team and retaining players for 2020.
"This year is all about development," she said.
"We're coming in with basically an entire new side made up of girls from B grade and the under-19s."
Munro knows it may be a difficult year on the scoreboard but said the Lions are ready for any adversity.
"We've got new goals and new expectations for 2019."
Munro pointed out Lilly Francis as a player to watch in the mid-court.
"She's been a star at the lower levels and we're expecting some big things from her this year."
Hayley Munro (new)
Four wins and 12 losses.
Emilie Stephenson (attack)
Georgie Bunworth (mid-court)
Lilly Francis (mid-court)
Emily McNamara (attack)
Amelia Ford (mid-court)
Ginger Wollermann (defense)
Lauren Benington (defense)
After multiple years of building chemistry and falling short in the finals, Sebastopol is looking to push into the upper echelon on the competition in 2019.
Coach Georgia Cann is going into the season under the impression that they can match up with everyone in the BFNL.
"Any team is beatable," she said.
"I'm confident in what we have done over the break, all we need is consistency in our group which is something I think we've got.
"We've retained this core for years now and we've got a great base to build upon."
The Burras are giving two players from the lower levels of their club an opportunity to produce in A grade including 15-year-old Tahlia Holmes.
Cann spoke highly of Holmes' ability as a defender at such a young age.
"She's got the skills to be a great player in A grade right now."
Georgia Cann (returning)
Eight wins, seven losses and one draw.
Tahlia Watts (defense)
Hayley Marie (mid-court)
After winning the 2017 premiership, Sunbury put together another dominant season, finishing with 15 wins and one loss heading into finals.
Once the finals begun however, the Lions could not replicate their success from the previous year, bowing out in a 16-goal preliminary final defeat to East Point.
Coach Adam Boldiston said the team lacked consistency and confidence going into finals and will use the loss as motivation in 2019.
"We had a great team, a great defense but our attacking end was an area we really needed to work on," he said.
"Now we've got a more settled lineup and have solidified our attacking combinations going into the season."
The Lions will be welcoming three former B grade players into their A grade side including two-time league Best and Fairest winner Suzi Johnson.
Look for Sunbury to once again be towards the top of the BFNL standing with their always stout defense.
Adam Boldiston (returning)
15 wins and one loss.
Suzie Johnson (defense)
Amanda Cusack (attack)
Lauren Wishart (attack)