There's a rare sense of excitement among Maitland Saints officials on the eve of this weekend's start to the new season.
For the first time in a number of seasons the Saints go in feeling somewhat optimistic.
No they're not going to win the AFL Black Diamond Cup, and they won't make the grand final for that matter either, but they most certainly have their goals.
"I think we are now at a stage we're looking at making the playoffs," club president Colin Carrol said.
"We haven't been able to say that for a while.
"The top two or three teams are very strong and probably beyond us at this stage - sides like Terrigal and Cardiff - but I would like to think we can challenge most of the other teams.
"We have deliberately adopted a youth policy in recent seasons, and that has required patience - but we're ready to see the benefits of it.
"We're still a very young side even now, but our young players have games under their belt, are growing physically and, more importantly, growing in confidence."
The Saints are on the road this weekend, taking on Warners Bay in all three grades.
The first grade side finished ninth of 10 teams last season, but on the positive side, pushed a lot of teams in tight contests. Their result on the ladder probably didn't reflect their competitiveness.
Warners Bay won just four of their 12 games to finish seventh, so it will be a good measuring stick for the Saints.
Any young players Carrol think we should keep an eye out for?
"Jarrod Inglis and Zack Stewart would be a couple who spring immediately to mind," he said.
"They've been the shining lights in their junior teams and they're ready to test themselves. They're both very talented."