HUNTLY coach Stacy Fiske says the Hawks have been more than happy to fly under the radar during what has been a hectic off-season around the Heathcote District Football League.
The Hawks have created plenty of headlines over the past two years, during which they have risen up the ladder from a 10th wooden-spoon in a row in 2011 to a grand final last season.
Season 2014 shapes as one of the most competitive in the HDFL on the back of strong recruiting across the competition, with the challenge now for the Hawks to build on their significant steps forward of the past two seasons.
"We're happy to quietly go about our business and let everyone else have their time in the spotlight," Fiske said on Thursday.
We're happy to quietly go about our business and let everyone else have their time in the spotlight
"Over the past few years there has been a fair bit of hype about us, so it's good that we've been put on the backburner a bit after a lot of clubs have gone out and did what we did a couple of years ago in recruiting really well.
"We've lost a few players and picked up a few players and it's all just about building on what we've been doing the past couple of years and hopefully, it will take us the next step."
Among the losses for the Hawks from last year's team that lost the grand final to Lockington-Bamawm United by 58 points is reigning Cheatley medallist Ryan Semmel.
Semmel has joined Rye in the Nepean Football League.
Also gone from the Hawks are defenders Matt Pendlebury and Michael Fitzgerald, forwards Daniel Lloyd and Chris Gleeson, and Jaydon Cowling.
Joining the Hawks is midfielder Ryan Harris, who has played with De La Salle in the Amateurs and will help fill the void of Semmel's departure, and ruckman Tom Hobbs.
"It looks like there's going to be a lot more depth across the teams this year, so it should be a really strong competition," Fiske said.
"It's going to be great for the league."
Huntly takes on what will be one of this season's big improvers in Mount Pleasant in round one on April 5 at Toolleen.