KOLORA NOORAT will start its Warrnambool and District Football Netball League (WDFNL) premiership defence on Saturday when it takes on Dennington.
A series of strong finals performances saw the Power lift the trophy last season after finishing the home and away rounds second on the ladder.
The Power went on to defeat Nirranda by 27 points and Old Collegians by 51 and 54 points respectively in its final three matches.
However, a strong finals display saw the Power defeat Nirranda in the qualifying final by 27 points before booking their spot in the grand final against the Warriors in the first of their two post-season match ups.
Power coach Danny Finn said his side was looking forward to getting its season under way.
He said the side was keen to make the finals again, but was not fazed by the expectations that came following premiership glory.
Rather, it would be the internal pressure driving his side this season, with Finn acknowledging the amount of competition for spots in the Power’s best 22.
“It’s more pressure for spots (rather than external pressure),” he said.
“The junior players are putting their hands up and the older players are too, so it’s more the internal pressure (we’re worried about).”
The club has undergone some change to its premiership side, with three players leaving from last season.
“We’ve retained the majority (of our list), but we’ve lost Mark Clissold and Joel Moloney to Terang and Sandy Williams to South Rovers,” Finn said.
However, the Power has added Nick Marshall (Fitzroy), Corey McDonald (South Rovers), Jake O’Flynn (Old Collegians), Matthew Deman (Bell Park) and Paul Messer (Camperdown) to its ranks.
Former assistant coach Tim Ryan also returns to the club after a year in the Geelong Football League but is currently overseas and will not play until later in the year.
Finn said the Power played practice matches against Koroit and Alvie in a bid to be ready for round one but said training had been difficult recently.
The St Patrick’s Day fires had impacted some of the club’s players and members, with the playing list focussing on helping where they could.
Finn said the players pushed training aside to assist those around the club for a couple of hours where needed and had enjoyed the opportunity to help out.
“They were two really good hit-outs, but we’ve been impacted by the fires,” he said.
“We’ve been going out and helping some of our players and committee members instead of training recently.”
Finn said the chance to play footy again would be a welcome distraction for the club after those events.
“We’re very excited,” he said.
“It’s been a long pre-season but the boys are ready to get into the real stuff.”