The Sebastopol Vikings have eyes set on the league title, but will need to overcome the loss of some key players in the 2020 Ballarat District Soccer Association men's division one open.
The club will be without reigning goal-scoring champion Brandon Bosher, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during preseason training.
Head coach Michael Busija said his absence would be felt by the club.
"We are hopeful we can sign someone who can fill the bulk of those goals," he said.
"Last year we were a bit one-dimensional in terms of where our goals were coming from, so we want to spread the load a bit more this year."
New signing Liam O'Neil will go some way to filling the void left by Bosher, who scored 35 goals in 2019. O'Neil notched 13 goals in 15 matches with the Forest Rangers last year before heading to Sebastopol for 2020.
He will join fellow new recruit Ibrahim Ghulami, who featured in the Vikings' promotion-winning side a few years ago. He also boasts National Premier League experience with Ballarat City.
"He's a versatile player, but he will probably mainly play as a central defender," Busija said.
"He has a good eye for a goal too."
The club welcomed back goalkeeper Jack Knights as well, who returns after playing state league soccer Middle Park last year.
Meanwhile the club said goodbye to Ryan Rykers, who left to join Ballarat Soccer Club in the Football Victoria state league five west competition.
Rykers won the BDSA league best and fairest award in 2018 and will no doubt be hard to replace.
Despite the losses, Busija was optimistic the side would be able to record a top two finish, in what will be a shortened season.
"In a normal season we are probably slow starters. We tend to secure a lot of our squad a bit later because a lot of our players train with the state league squad then get offloaded to us," he said.
"But we are confident that if we can be organised, we'll have enough personal to be competitive."
Busija said the first four to six games would be key for the squad.
"If we can get some points in the first four to six matches, I think we'll come home with a wet sail," he said.
Busija said the club would likely add more pieces before opening round.
The Courier will preview every division one open club in the lead up to the 2020 BDSA season.