For years they were instrumental in the Maitland Magpies' success - Joel Wood up front scoring goals on a regular basis and Matt Thompson scheming away in midfield.
This Sunday they'll be returning to Cooks Square, but in their new club colours, looking to lead their young Valentine side to their first win of the season against their former club.
It's a match that, on paper, Maitland should win. And for that reason alone coach Mick Bolch is wary.
The Magpies surrendered the competition lead in their last match when they were edged out 1-0 by Weston, and will want all three points here.
Valentine, for all their effort, have managed just the one draw from their five matches to date - a nil-all effort against Charlestown in their opening match.
Since then it has been four losses on the trot, including conceding 10 goals in their last two matches.
Perhaps more worryingly for them is the fact they have only managed to get on the score sheet in one game this year - a 6-3 loss to Adamstown Rosebud.
"Joel and Matt are two of the senior players in what is a very young team," Magpies coach Mick Bolch said.
"They would love to get one over their former side, so they'll be up for the match.
"Every player loves a win over their former side. Look at Tommy Duggan in our last match who scored the winner against us for Weston."
Bolch believes in that loss the Magpies went away from the style of play that had served them so well in the opening four rounds.
"We didn't press them high up the field when they had the ball the same way we did the other teams and we paid a price for that," he said.
"We need to get back to that. It's a high energy style for sure, and you need to use your replacements to maintain the intensity over 90 minutes.
"That's why you need 15 or 16 players who can step in at any time. Eleven top grade players won't be enough in this competition."
The Magpies meanwhile had a comfortable 4-0 win over Singleton in the FFA Cup clash at Cooks Square on Wednesday night.
Bolch was cagey with his selections resting a number of key players. It was a solid, if uneventful performance from the Magpies, and most importantly they came through the match unscathed.
The Magpies game against Valentine starts at 4.30pm on Sunday.
The other Coalfields team, Weston Bears are away on Sunday to defending premiers Edgeworth and will be looking to follow their strong performance against Maitland with another win.
Edgeworth have had a mixed start to the new season and sit mid-table, one place below fifth-placed Weston.
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