East Point has a target on its back, according to the Ballarat Football Netball League's coaches, while one has even predicted Sebastopol to fall from grand finalists to wooden spooners within a season.
The reigning premiers were overwhelming favourites to win a third-s , receiving 67 per cent of votes from head coaches surveyed in an exclusive The Courier poll ahead of the season.
Only four clubs received votes when we asked which club other than theirs would win the premiership on football's return.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Last season's grand finalists, Sebastopol, Bacchus Marsh and Sunbury all shared 11 per cent.
Surprisingly, though, one coach predicted the Burra would take out the wooden spoon this season.
A majority thought Lake Wendouree (33 per cent) would finish on the bottom of the ladder, though Ballarat (22 per cent) also picked up a couple
Melton South, North Ballarat and even Bacchus Marsh received a vote - though the last may just be a flash in the pan.
The Cobras are tipped by most coaches to be the league's biggest improvers, with 56 per cent of votes backing the club to rise up the ladder.
Bacchus Marsh only managed an eighth-placed finish in 2019, but with new coach Tom German re-vitalising the group there's plenty of intrigue heading into the new season.
German has certainly attracted the attention of his coaching peers as well.
The former Essendon-listed onballer received 33 per cent of votes as the coaches' joint-favourite to take out the coach of the year award, alongside Sunbury's Travis Hodgson.
Predictions were split when asked who would take out the Henderson Medal.
Redan's Lachie George (two votes) was the lone player to snare multiple votes, with Sebastopol assistant coach Tony Lockyer and 2019 best-and-fairest winner Alik Magin, from Sunbury, the other big names attracting attention.
Gun Lake Wendouree recruit Nick Rippon is also backed to be in the best-and-fairest picture in his first season in the BFNL.
The picks are just as scattered when it comes to the leading goalkicker.
Ballarat force Andrew Hooper is among the predictions, alongside Sebastopol recruit Michael Lockyer, Darley new boy Ben Said and Melton South spearhead Dylan Conway.
HEPBURN has been backed by the coaches to take out the Central Highlands Football League (CHFL) premiership with 38 per cent of the votes.
Central Highlands Football League
Waubra, Gordon, Rokewood-Corindhap and Newlyn all came in second with two votes a piece, Buninyong and Learmonth rounded out the vote getters with one a piece.
At the other end of the spectrum Clunes, as they had been in the fan vote, has been tipped to claim the wooden spoon.
It received 44 per cent of votes, six per cent clear of Carngham Linton.
Ballan was the only other vote-getter, three coaches tipping it to finish last.
2019 finalists Skipton are tipped to improve once again this season.
It received 38 per cent of votes from the coaches to be the biggest improvers.
The Emus played finals in 2019 for the first time since joining the CHFL, finishing eighth and losing an elimination final to Hepburn.
Bungaree, Springbank, Creswick and Daylesford all received one vote each.
Newlyn's Myles Sewell has been backed by the coaches, as he was the fans, to take out the Geoff Taylor Medal in his third season (excluding 2020).
The gun midfielder took out four votes, ahead of Buninyong's Tyrone Ross and Springbank's Andrew Challis with two votes each.
Newlyn's Marcus Darmody cleaned up in the leading goal kicker category, eight coaches picking the big man to take the award out again, following his triumph in 2019.
Hepburn's Sam Dunstan was next best with three votes.
As was the case with the fan survey, Rokewood-Corindhap pair Shaune Moloney and Brad Macgowan have been backed by their fellow coaches to win the coach of the year award with 25 per cent voting for them.
Glenn Wilkins (Dunnstown), Ryan Waight (Bungaree), Sam Willian & Andrew Pitson (Skipton), Ryan Knowles (Creswick) and Chris Banwell (Newlyn) all received two votes each also.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.