A clear step above the competition last year, Nagambie will be in the driver’s seat to bag record back-to-back flags in 2020.
The Lakers only dropped one game last season – Tallygaroopna, round two – before going on a 17-game winning streak to cement premiership glory.
And in a deadly finals series, the Lakers demonstrated just how good they really were, beating the Redlegs in the semi-final and final by a combined 157 points.
But with the off-season comes change, and the club will lose the services of its best-and-fairest and league rising star, Blake Fothergill, alongside older brother Nathan Fothergill, who head off for a stint in the Goulburn Valley League.
And with Mark Wilson also departing, the club has needed to bring more talent into the fold, although coach Anthony Haysom remains confident the strength of his squad remains on par with last year.
“We’ve been able to replace what we’ve lost to an extent. We’re just looking to keep going on what was done last year and improving,” Haysom said.
“I don’t think we’ll be too far off last year. We do have a different game style though; it’s been tweaked a bit.”
The Lakers will be buoyed by the return of local product and 2018 league runner-up goal-kicker, Mat Waterson, who returns after a year away with Maiden Gully playing alongside brother, Nic.
“Mat brings 70 to 80 goals back into the side. He can play forward and push back into the middle,” Haysom said.
COACH: ANTHONY HAYSOM
2019 FINISH: PREMIER (17-1)
2019 BEST-AND-FAIREST: BLAKE FOTHERGILL
2019 LEADING GOAL-KICKER: ANTHONY HAYSOM (49)
GROUND: NAGAMBIE RECREATION RESERVE
IN: Mat Waterson (Maiden Gully), Matt Martin (Seymour), Patrick Rattray (Seville), Keith Berry (WAAFL), Josh Ludeman (Dookie)
OUT: Nathan Fothergill, Blake Fothergill (Shepparton United), Mark Wilson