2020 in the Loddon Valley Football-Netball League will forever have an asterisk.
It will be remembered as the year that a health pandemic - coronavirus - forced the season to be cancelled in what was the first time since 1944 and World War 2 the league was put on hold.
So while there will be no premiership awarded in 2020, how were each of the senior football teams shaping up before COVID-19?
Here's a look at the comings and goings of each during the off-season, what the coaches had to say to the Advertiser back in March for the annual pre-season guide that was abandoned and our club prospect summaries.
Coach: Greg Gadsden (fifth year).
Last year: 3rd (11-7-1).
Arrivals: Ryan Prendergast, Justin Bateson, Stephen Barrett, Jeremy Hancock, Darcy Poulter, Connor Hamilton, Brodie Hawke, Bailey O'Connor.
Departures: Dylan Hanley, Oliver Leonard-Shannon, Darcy Hawker, Cody Gunn, Shaun Bowles, Billy Hawkes.
WHAT THE COACH SAID - "We'd love to go another step further and have a crack at a grand final.
"We're happy with what we've got in terms of our list and we'd like to think we'll be somewhere around the mark again. Our aim is to firstly make the finals and if we can advance on what we did last year then that would be the ideal scenario." - Greg Gadsden.
WE SAID -Year five of the Bears' rebuild that started from scratch with their winless 2016. Have been on the improve since, and if that trend can continue this season the next step is making a grand final, which does look a tricky assignment given how the likes of Mitiamo, Pyramid Hill and Bridgewater are shaping up.
Coaches: Dale Cameron (third year) and Jayden Donaldson (first year).
Last year: 7th (7-9).
Arrivals: Boden Alexander, Jayden Donaldson, Tom Dowd, Zeb Broadbent, Tom Broadbent, Marc Lindsay, Josh Martyn, Lloyd Needs, Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Mychael Baker.
Departures: Sam Banko.
WHAT THE CO-COACH SAID - "We've been fairly young the past couple of years and identified that we needed to bring in some experience and we've been able to do that.
"Getting a few locals back as well certainly makes a big difference, so there's a really good buzz around the club.
"We know we're coming from the middle of the pack (seventh last year), so we've got a fair bit to improve on, but the pre-season has been really good." - Dale Cameron.
WE SAID -The Mean Machine look set to be the bolters of the competition this year. The Mean Machine have got games into young players over the past two years and now add in plenty of big-game experience that should have Bridgewater right back in the premiership mix.
Coach: Glen Scholtes (new).
Last year: 5th (7-10).
Arrivals: Brady Childs, Tom Dargaville, Benny Driscoll, Bailey Greenwood, Mitchell O'Dwyer, Beau Roy-Clements, Oliver Tautkus, Jack Teasdale, Luke Thompson.
Departures: Michael Cooke, Alex Davis, Jake Hall, Jake Lawry, Levi Moss, Jonas Somerville.
WHAT THE COACH SAID - "Our goal is to rebuild with a young side, but we've also tried to get some experience and mature bodies in as well.
"Obviously, Brady (Childs) has played a lot of quality senior footy and Tom Dargaville gives us a bigger midfield body and some experience as well.
"Mikey Maxey, Jedd Thompson and Jack Sinclair are all coming up from the under-18s and they are the young fellas who are the future of the club who we want to build around." - Glen Scholtes.
WE SAID -New coach Glen Scholtes has made it clear this will be a rebuilding year for the Demons, who have lost some big names from last season. Plenty will need to go right if they are to replicate their finals appearance of last year, and as such got the Demons finishing seventh.
Coach: Darrell Billett (new).
Last year: 9th (0-16).
Arrivals: Billy Ruff, Mark Den Houting, Lochlan Else, Tyson Tresize, Tom Lake.
Departures: Lachlan Sidebottom, Samuel Barnes, Liam Drummond, Kaleb Kennedy, Nick Leach, Peter McKay, Jarrod Starr, Sam Williams, Ryan McNish.
WHAT THE COACH SAID - "The boys have been training really well and I'm confident we can be competitive and win some games.
"We know we've lost some players, but the team didn't win a game last year, so we've got to refresh the list and we've gone out and tried to get some kids who are all mates that we want to build around.
"What we've set out to do is get a group of 20-21 year-olds together and keep them together for four to five years and who knows what can happen.
"The goal for us this year is to be competitive and at least win a couple of games of footy. We know where we're at and that it's not going to be easy, but hopefully, the kids play with confidence early and we can build on that." - Darrell Billett.
WE SAID -Coming off a winless 2019, the only way is up for the Blues and clearly even just one victory would be an improvement on last year. The Blues are going to be young and with that will come inconsistency, but, hopefully, for the club's sake they can finally start seeing the wheel turning in the right direction.
MAIDEN GULLY YCW
Coach: Wayne Mitrovic (third year).
Last year: 4th (7-9).
Arrivals: Samuel Barnes, Alex Hand, Nick Edwards, Chris Howgate, Nate McLaren.
Departures: Alex Pearson, Dylan Morris, Nick Waterson, Matt Waterson, Ryan Walker, Jake Klemm.
WHAT THE COACH SAID - "I think the reason we went from second on the ladder in 2018 to fourth last year was purely based around the injuries we had.
"Last year I thought we were still able to have some really good wins when we were undermanned and that was a really good learning for us.
"But this year, I believe if everyone stays fit our midfield is going to be really strong with Chris Howgate in the ruck along with Nate (McLaren), Moyley (Sean Moyle) and Galen Munari.
"And we've got some good young kids coming through out of the under-18s, who have played in the past three grand finals." - Wayne Mitrovic.
WE SAID -Chris Howgate is a big addition for the Eagles given they struggled in the ruck last year. Not the same level of expectation on the Eagles as this time last year, but that may allow them to fly under the radar. Tipping the Eagles to land somewhere from fourth to sixth.
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Coaches: Taylor Beard and Ash Weldon (second year).
Last year: 6th (7-9).
Arrivals: Braden Hender, David Johnstone, Elliott Massina, Sean Williams, Charles Youngman.
Departures: Nathan Devanny, Ben Millar.
WHAT THE CO-COACH SAID - "Last year was a good stepping stone in the sense of having a couple of new coaches, new list and new gameplan, but this year we've been able to be more selective in what we went out and recruited.
"We feel we're well ahead of where we were at this time last year and our aim is to continue building and push for finals." - Taylor Beard.
WE SAID -The Panthers were the hard luck story of last season due to the circumstances that cost them the chance to play finals. Getting in Sean Williams (he has since signed at Rochester) to bolster their attack is significant and with more selective recruiting given their strong list retention, the Panthers are looking a finals quality side.
Coaches: Andy Grant (third year) and Tyrone Downie (second year).
Last year: 1st (16-3).
Arrivals: Luke Crawford, Corey Greer, Ross Turner, Andrew Cussens, Matthew Despott.
Departures: Terry Reeves, Rodney Reeves, Luke Scott.
WHAT THE CO-COACH SAID - "After last year we'll be the hunted, so we're looking forward to embracing that in what looks like it will be a lot more even season.
"We're happy with the recruits we've brought in. Corey Greer has a lot of experience and will add a bit of polish and speed to the midfield group and Ross Turner is another midfielder we've brought in.
"Probably something we lacked a bit last year was the ability to stop a gun midfielder if they got on top of us, so bringing in Ross gives us the flexibility to be able to do that, but we'll be looking to use him mainly as an offensive midfielder." - Tyrone Downie.
WE SAID -The defending premiers look set to be tough to beat again as the Superoos chase back-to-back flags for the first time in the club's history. With the core of the premiership list intact, plus more Bendigo league experience coming out of Kangaroo Flat, the Superoos are going to be a tough proposition again.
Coach: Luke Freeman (new).
Last year: 8th (5-10-1).
Arrivals: Caleb Argus, Corey Sharp, Logan Dixon, Caleb Williams.
Departures: Ed Coulthard, William Daly, Alex Farrow, Jordan Gilboy, Brendan Josey, Chris McLean, Billy Price, Connor Toohey, Ash Trollop.
WHAT THE COACH SAID - "There is going to be a lot of new faces in the side this year and there's going to be some great opportunities for young players to step up and take on some senior roles.
"We've lost a lot of experience, but I'm very much glass half-full about the season ahead and really excited at the opportunities that will be created." - Luke Freeman.
WE SAID -Looks a long year ahead for the Maroons given the lengthy list of outs from a team that won just five games last season. New coach Luke Freeman will bring plenty of enthusiasm to the role, but it looks like being a tough initiation into senior coaching.
Coaches: Adrian McErvale (second year) and Nathan Fitzpatrick (new).
Last year: 2nd (14-5).
Arrivals: Ryley Dickens, Brad Ladson, Matthew Ladson, Matthew Pollock, Mick Dundon, Jake Heavyside.
Departures: Steven Gunther, Tom Sala.
WHAT THE CO-COACH SAID - "We probably thought we lacked a few bigger bodies in the midfield after we got bullied a bit by Mitiamo in the grand final and just needed a bit more depth through there and we think we've addressed that fairly well.
"We defended well last year, Braidy Dickens (league leading goalkicker) was a really good target for us, but we probably didn't get it out of the middle as much as we would have liked, so that's where we'll be looking to be a lot better this year." - Nathan Fitzpatrick.
WE SAID -The Bulldogs look set to be there when the whips are cracking again at the business end. The addition of Pollock and the two Ladsons from Leitchville-Gunbower will give the Bulldogs an envious midfield brigade and they again look well served in attack and defence. Tipping Pyramid Hill to finally end its flag drought.
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