As reigning premiers the Maitland Magpies know every aspect of their game will be analysed to new levels in season 2020.
But young Magpies trio Tom Davies, Jimmy Thompson and star recruit Braedyn Crowley are not worried by the extra scrutiny.
"Teams will see how we play, but countering it and stopping us from controlling games is another matter," Thompson said ahead of Sunday's opening game of the Northern NSW NPL season against grand final conquerors Edgeworth at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Control of the ball and match tempo are the next step in Maitland's development as they look to defend their NPL premier's title and go one better with a grand final win and the premiership double.
"We control the game so much better, our link up play up front is so much cleaner and sharper," Maitland junior Thompson said.
"We can break teams down with two or three passes as opposed to last year where we played on the counter far more.
"We can go from a slow controlled style with one pass to an upbeat style which can break down their whole system.
"It's enjoyable and good to be part of. It feels like even when we lose the ball we are not going to be countered ourselves that we will regain control and set about dictating terms again.
"Our back line hasn't change much from last year but we are moving better as a team across the park."
Defender Davies, who joined the Magpies in 2019, said the stop-start nature of the season had been difficult, but he was pleased with how fit everyone had returned and how quickly combinations were forming again.
"You just wanted to get those combinations nailed before the season started, especially up forward where it's a different look with Crowls and Matty Comerford in the front third. Having to stop and start again makes it harder," he said.
"I think we've done all right. In the trial games we looked all right. although we looked a bit rusty at the start in the trial game last weekend.
"Come the weekend opener we will be fine."
Crowley is delighted with his move to Maitland and how quickly combinations are starting to work up front."
"The top third and midfield we've got just such good players with the ball that makes it so much easier going forward," he said.
"It's going to be an exciting year for everyone I think. I'm looking forward to just playing good football and hopefully scoring goals.
"I've enjoyed the move out here. I came here and I want to win that's the main thing.
"It's not about individual performances, I just want to win. It's a good club that I wanted to come to and I'm looking forward to the season to start."
Crowley's unselfish attitude to the game has fitted in well with the Maitland playing group who are eager to add a grand final cup to their trophy cabinet after loss in last year's final after securing premiers trophy after finishing five points clear of their top four rivals.
"Up front, we all have so much energy and we are all good with the ball. I think we will just feed off each other and getting as many one-twos as we can to break down defences," he said.
"We have plenty of speed we have I think we just work so well together that I thin it's going to be hard for teams to stop us this year.
"When we are patient and keep the ball that is when we look dangerous.
"I think we can definitely win the premiership and the final with the team we have."