Excitement is building out at Rupanyup and with fair reason.
The Panthers landed the coup of the off-season, luring former AFL midfielder Shaun Edwards into the red-and-blue.
The 190-centimetre on-baller spent two years with Greater Western Sydney, making 12 senior appearances, before he was traded to Essendon.
A further 12 appearances would follow for the Bombers, before he was delisted.
The 27-year-old was given a third chance on Sydney's rookie list in 2017, but later retired from AFL football to focus on Indigenous education and football development in his native Northern Territory.
"There's a lot of hype around this year." Rupanyup coach Jack Musgrove said.
"Picking up a few handy players brings a few out of the woodwork and obviously we've had a few local blokes coming back just due to reasons around COVID and what not.
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"It's probably been one of our strongest pre-seasons we've had since I've been coaching.
"It's definitely the most local blokes we've had on track, which is very exciting. A lot of people around the town are up and about and excited for the year ahead."
Rupanyup has also lured another new face through the door in Tylah Saunders.
Joining Saunders and Edwards are Northern Territory superstar Shannon Rioli and 2019 North Central league best-and-fairest Mitch Gleeson, who signed for the abandoned 2020 season and have re-committed.
Homegrown Panther and former AFL-listed force Matt Tyler is also slated to return from injury.
"Our goal is to make finals," Musgrove said.
Our goal is to make finals.Jack Musgrove
"Most clubs you talk to will say the same thing but we've been pushing for finals for a while now and with the blokes we've recruited we should hopefully have a decent crack at it.
"We've had a horror run with injuries (in the past) so touch wood we go alright on that front and it will go a long way to helping us have a good year.
"We're just going to take it one week at a time and hopefully midway through the season we're looking alright."
Musgrove tipped the influx of locals and rising juniors to push the Panthers to another level.
"Our juniors that have missed that year, like Blake Turner and Jordy Weidemann, are really flying through," he said.
"Then Connor and Lachlan Weidemann have been training the house down.
"There's a lot of local juniors that are really looking forward to having that year back."
Consistency is key for Rupanyup A Grade netballers ahead of the 2021 season.
2019 was a tough year for the Panthers who only managed the one win on their way to finishing tenth.
For A Grade coach Kayla Weidemann, the goal for her team this year is simple - to improve on their 2019 campaign.
"Getting out there is the first step after last year, just trying to play consistent, confident netball this year," Weidemann said.
"So the goal is to get a couple of wins on the board, get around everyone as a group and just try and be consistent in all grades."
The Panthers have fortunately been able to retain most of their 2019 list, while also boosting their depth by adding a few fresh faces.
"We've got quite a few young girls from the college, so Maddie Marks, she's at the college but she's come across from Bendigo, so she'll be a really good addition in A Grade," Weidemann said.
With lesser playing numbers a real possibility for clubs after the abandonment of the 2020 season, Weidemann has been impressed by the Panthers' turnout across all grades.
"Our numbers in both seniors and juniors are quite strong, probably as strong as they've ever been across all grades," she said.
"That's I guess surprising and a positive after having a year off. We weren't sure what we were coming back to. Everyone's just keen to get back into some sport and some socialising, so we're pretty excited for the first round."
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