MARYBOROUGH gets its first chance to prove the knockers wrong when it meets Kangaroo Flat under lights at Beck Legal Oval on Saturday.
The Magpies have been widely-touted as the Bendigo Football League wooden-spooners this year after enduring a challenging off-season that included a fight for survival as they faced a player shortage.
But following their SOS campaign, they secured the numbers to field a full quota of teams this year, with their first assignment against the Roos.
"We're looking forward to getting out there and having a kick on Saturday night," Magpies co-coach Jamie Bond said on Friday.
"After what we went through earlier, the main thing is we have a side on the park, so we just want to get out there and make sure we're competitive."
Kangaroo Flat is aiming to significantly improve on last year when it won just two games - both against Maryborough - and finished on the bottom of the ladder.
The Roos enter Saturday night's game at home on the back of three practice match victories.
"Hopefully, all the preparation we've done since November holds us in good stead this weekend," new Kangaroo Flat coach Jason Stevens said.
"We know Maryborough is a proud club and at a similar level to where we're at, so it should be a red-hot battle that we're looking forward to."
The Kangaroo Flat side includes key forward Cameron Rinaldi, who is one of the three ex-Maryborough players who left the Magpies during the off-season to join a rival BFL club.