Traditionally led by its seasoned veterans, it was the turn of the next generation to guide North Ballarat to victory at the weekend.
The off-season departure of Laura McDonald left a hole in the reigning's premiers defence, which was only compounded by Emma Church's unavailability for the season-opener.
Coach Annie McCartin trusted her young brigade to step up in their place. "I had to call up a couple of young ones. Lily (Pfitzner) was in defence, and she really stood up," she said.
"She did a wonderful job.
"I kept her back in goalkeeper, and she was reading the ball lovely."
Pfitzner wasn't the only up-and-comer entrusted with kicking off the premiership defence.
Keeley Smith was called on to partner Pfitzner in the back-end of the court, while Emma Trigg was also given game time.
Both Smith and Trigg were members of North Ballarat's premiership-winning 19-and-under side in 2019.
"Lily and Keeley played three quarters together, and they worked beautifully," McCartin said.
"I gave Emma a quarter, and it was a great opportunity to see how we went in the defensive end. I was really pleased with how the young ones stood up to it all."
"They're so keen. You just love the keenness of them.
"They all gelled really, really well together."
North Ballarat face a tough ask this weekend, hosting a Ballarat side buoyed by a win against Bacchus Marsh.
The young defensive group will have their hands full against an in-form Amy Waters, who bagged 30 goals.
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.