The Maitland Magpies front-third has sent out a warning to the rest of the Northern NSW NPL competition with a 6-1 thumping of Charlestown Azzurri.
New striker Braedyn Crowley scored a hat-trick, midfielder Nick Cowburn got a double and forward Ben Martin got the other goal as the Magpies build for their opening game of the season against Edgeworth Eagles on March 22.
"It was a really good hit out. They are only trial games, but the side is looking better each week," Magpies coach Mick Bolch said.
"Defensively we were solid, Jimmy Thompson and Nick Cowburn in the midfield were very, very good and the front third is getting better each week.
"We led 2.1 at half-time and took our chances in the second half.
"Our speed and ball movement in the front third was hard to contain. The combinations between Crowley, Cummo (Matt Comerford) Woodsy (Joel Wood) and Jimmy (Thompson) are getting better every week.
"Both Nick's goals were from 18 yards into the top corner, real top notch."
Bolch was delighted with Thompson's work rate and performance in the midfield and signalled the youngster may spend more time there is 2020.
"Andrew Swan is still out with ankle ligament damage and we have been trying a few blokes in there," Bolch said.
"Sean Pratt was unavailable because of surgery on eye injury from last season, so we played Jimmy in the No. 10 behind Braedyn Crowley and they linked up very well. It was very good to see.
"If we've got Jimmy on the ball a lot more he is a very good ball player. His work rate was really good in there, which was something we had spoke about - his work rate for 90 minutes.
"He could find himself a bit there if he can reproduce what he did."
Bolch said the flow of goals was a combination of excellent ball movement and players capable of taking advantage of good delivery in front of goal.
"I think its a bit of both, our ball movement and player movement in the top third is really good at the moment and it's hard to defend against.
"But when you break the side down, Braedyn Crowley was the leading goal scorer last year, Woodsy ran second to him by one goal, the year before Cummo scored nine goals in nine games so there are plenty of goals in the side.
"While it was only a trial game there were good signs and we take the positives out of it and build on them over the next couple of weeks."
Bolch said Maitland would come under far more scrutiny in 2020 after winning the premiership and needed to improve in all facets of the game.
"We need to be on our toes, we probably flew under the radar a bit with games in hand last year. Everyone was talking about Edgy and Magic and Maitland was just seen as being there or abouts," he said.
"After winning the premiership last year we will have the target on our back now and we need to be ready for that from game one."
The Magpies have four trials left starting with South Cardiff next week, followed by Valentine and then a game against a select representative side from Coffs Harbour before they finish off against Adamstown.