Coach: Sam Kerridge (1st year)
Last year: 7th - 3-13
Arrivals: Charlie Bowyer, Pascale Craig, Mick Dee, Mitch Dole, Sam Kerridge, Jed Lamb, Zeke Lamb, Dane Spear, James Stewart.
Departures: Josh Flight, Brad Parnell, Jordan Waldron.
Player points: 43
Last flag: 1988
Opener: v LBU (h)
R2: v Mount Pleasant (h)
R3: v North Bendigo (a)
Past five years:
2018: 7th - 3-13
2017: 6th - 7-10
2016: 7th - 5-11
2015: 4th - 10-8
2014: 5th - 8-9
Last season's MVP top 5:
Jake Allport - 51
Ryley Dickens - 39
Kris Bedford - 38
Rhys Irwin - 29
James Avery - 25
Last season's top 5 goalkickers:
Kris Bedford - 32
Jordan Waldron - 30
Jake Allport - 14
Jasper Ibbeson-Coatsworth - 10
Gavin Bowles - 8
Q and A with coach Sam Kerridge
After seven years in the AFL system with Adelaide and Carlton, how have you found the transition back to country footy at White Hills?
"It has been really enjoyable to get back to local level and get around a quality country club like White Hills.
"I've enjoyed every minute of it and everyone at the club has welcomed me with open arms and we're all champing at the bit to get stuck into the season."
No doubt you and your ex team-mate at Carlton, Jed Lamb, can expect to be on the end of plenty of close attention week in, week out. Is that a challenge you're looking forward to meeting head-on?
"That's just part of footy. Growing up playing country footy it was always a tough brand, but taking the step to the next level like Jed and I did, you cop your fair share there as well.
"That's the game... I'm sure we'll give out our share as well, but we'll be right; we're big boys."
The club has recruited really well during the off-season, but is coming off a base of just three wins in 2018. What have you targeted as the objective this year?
"It's going to be a bit of an unknown, but, firstly, we're going to try to create a winning culture at the footy club.
"We do have a lot of ins, but if we can't gel together as a tight-knit unit on game day then it's not going to matter who we have out there.
"We can't leave it up to just the likes of Jed Lamb, Mitch Dole, Pascale Craig and Zeke Lamb to get us wins each week... we're going to need 22 contributors.
"There will be expectation on the boys to perform and with that comes a bit of pressure, but at the end of the day, we've got to give it a bit of time for the boys to gel."
Has there been more hype around a club that is coming off just three wins the previous season and hasn't won a flag for more than 30 years (1988) than what there is for White Hills entering 2019?
The Demons have certainly made a massive recruiting splash bringing in two players - new coach Sam Kerridge and Jed lamb - straight off Carlton's list.
The pair played 135 AFL games between them - Kerridge 69 and Lamb 66 - and not only give the Demons' engine room a massive boost with Kerridge and goalscoring power in Lamb, but will no doubt help bring some extra numbers through the gate at Scott Street to watch the new-look White Hills in action.
And both are still in their prime footy age: Lamb is 26 and Kerridge 25, with the starting point for opposition coaches in their planning for the Demons set to be how they can curtail the influence of the star pair.
However, it's not just Kerridge and Lamb, whose brother Zeke has also joined the Demons, who add to what is a bulked up White Hills' list.
Sandhurst 2016 premiership players Mitch Dole and Pascale Craig are both also arrivals at White Hills.
If livewire Dole can recapture the form when he was one of the Bendigo league's most dynamic forwards, most notably in 2014 when he kicked 57 goals, he'll be one heck of a handful for opposition defenders, while the hard-at-it Craig provides the Demons with plenty of versatility as a utility.
Not since their back-to-back grand final seasons of 2004 and 2005 when they finished runner-up both times have the Demons entered a season with such an expectation to perform as what they do this year.
Now the question is will the results on the field match all the pre-season hype?
Practice matches - v Mitiamo (March 16 at Mitiamo), v Kerang (March 23, venue TBC).
Coach: Lauren Bowles (second year)
Last year: Premiers
Arrivals: Sophie Kerridge, Olivia Treloar, Mikayla Gellatly, Mia Nally, Rindy Sawyer.
Departures: Eden Furness, Alyssa Cole, Chloe Gloury.
Coaching panel: Lauren Bowles (A-grade and A-reserve); Emily Gloury (B-grade); Alana Prime (B-reserve); Sophie Williams (17-and-under); Kylie Lamb (15-and-under); Marbie Ross and Sheridan Docksey (D primary).
Last five years: Premiers (2018); runners-up (2017); runners-up (2016); third (2015); fourth (2014).
Q and A with coach Lauren Bowles
With no player losses and a few very handy gains, it appears you have only got stronger since your premiership win?
"I think my expectation this year is that as a team we should be stronger, only if the fact most of this group has been together now for two consecutive years. That can only develop our on-court connection that little bit more. As a collective throughout the club, I would like to think that at the end of this season - even if the result might not show it - we are playing better netball."
You must be happy with the signing of Olivia Treloar, after her great season and grand final performance with Bridgewater last year?
"We've been very lucky with all our pick-ups this year. Liv will slot in very nicely into our A or A-reserve team; we haven't finalised our squads. She is really strong and her accuracy is fantastic. On night one of tryouts that's what really stood out, as well her ability to read the play. And Sophie Kerridge is a really zippy midcourter. We've also done a great job recruiting for our B-squad with some girls who will be really fabulous acquisitions for the club.
You must be proud to have lost so few players in total, coming off a year in which the club won all four senior premierships (A-grade, A-reserve, B-grade and B-reserve)?
"Four from four was fantastic - and we also had a lot of success with our juniors. We only lost four players and in return we picked up five. The girls are making it harder and harder to picks sides, which is great - it's a headache I want to have. We haven't really hit the court for a practice match yet. We have an intra-club match Thursday and the following week we take on Kangaroo Flat."
It's not what White Hills' nine rivals want to hear, but the Demons figure on being an even stronger unit as they head into their premiership defence.
A tight-knit Demons have lost none of their grand final-winning line-up from six months ago, and only a handful of netballers across all of their senior grades.
Ominously for their opposition, the Demons have added plenty of new depth in the form of Olivia Treloar and Sophie Kerridge, who is the sister of senior football coach Sam, and a former A-grade netballer with Sunraysia league club Mildura.
Treloar joins White Hills after herself being part of a Loddon Valley league premiership with Bridgewater.
The deadly-accurate goal shooter was the standout on grand final day and a deserving winner of the best-on-court medal in the Mean Machine's seven-goal win over Calivil United.
Treloar will add plenty to the Demons already potent stock of goalers, spearheaded by premiership duo Ash Gilmore and Rhian Moresi, who was best-on-court in the Demons' flag triumph.
Evidence of their strength in the goal circle, White Hills scored 122 more goals than their nearest opponent (Colbinabbin) during the regular season and a whopping 392 more than next best Huntly.
The Demons' defence, led by Anna-Grace Close and Dannielle Sawyer, also conceded the fewest goals, posing concerns for their opposition at both ends of the court.
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