Coach: Todd Edwards
Last Premiership: 2003
Gains: Hayden Loughrey, Tevita Alifa (Knights - NSW Cup), Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano (Wyong - NSW Cup), Seaton Reid (Noosa Pirates - Sunshine Coast), Tevita Cottrell (didn't play 2018), Steve Waetford (Denman - Group 21), Josh Charles (Lakes), Lincoln Smith (Maitland).
Losses: Joe Bromage (Knights - 20s), Kurt Warden (Central), Royce Geoffrey (Macquarie), Josh Adudwumaa (hasn't re-signed).
Past Five Seasons:
2018: 7th (5 wins, 11 losses)
2017: 6th (5-11)
2016: 6th (8-8)
2015: 4th (7-1-6)
2014: 5th, lost grand final (9-1-6)
Q and A with coach Todd Edwards:
Q: After a season and grand final appearance with Lakes, what's it like being back at home to coach Cessnock?
A: "It's good to be back. I don't miss the travel [from home to Belmont] to be honest, but I would have liked to kept going [at Lakes]. It was just the travel and that's why I made the call nice and early. There's a few new faces around and we're all about improving."
Q: Where do you think the Goannas can improve in 2019 after missing the last three finals series?
A: "Discipline is obviously one. And that's everything. Everybody being accountable for what we do on and off the field. That's what we're bringing in. That's our theme. We finished seventh in an eight team competition so our first goal is to improve and whatever happens from there is a bonus."
Q: Who has impressed you most at Cessnock Sportsground during the pre-season?
A: "The kids. Reed Hugo has been really good and has trained hard. Connor Kirkwood has been good. Also signed an impressive kid from Noosa Heads, half or fullback Seaton Reid, who's uncle was Mick Reid a trainer with Knights back when I was there."
Cessnock had a bit of promise in 2018 but could never quite find any momentum throughout the season, finishing seventh.
Former Goannas mentor Todd Edwards returns home to the coaching ranks, marking the club's sixth change in charge in as many years with Al Lantry shifting to play at Wests.
Roster wise most players have re-signed, including Paul Carter, while half-a-dozen recruits look to add depth to the squad at Cessnock Sportsground.
Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano, brother of former Knights player Zane, 2014 Australian Schoolboys representative Tevita Cottrell and one-time New Zealand Warriors' NSW Cup captain Steve Waetford are among those to arrive at the Coalfields club.
Some of the younger promising players such as Harry O'Brien, Connor Kirkwood and Reed Hugo are now another year older.
Round 1 v Maitland on April 13 (H)
Round 2 v Lakes on April 27 (H)
Round 3 v Kurri on May 4 (H)
Round 4 v Central on May 18 (A)
Round 5 v Macquarie on May 25 (A)
Round 6 v Lakes on June 2 (A)
Round 7 v Wests on June 8 (H)
Round 8 v Kurri on June 15 (A)
Round 9 v Maitland on June 22 (A)
Round 10 v Souths on July 6 (H)
Round 11 v Macquarie on July 13 (H)
Round 12 v Central on July 21 (H)
Round 13 v Wests on July 28 (A)
Round 14 v Lakes on August 4 (A)
Round 15 v Wests on August 17 (H)
Round 16 v Souths on August 24 (A)