After the Yass Roos battled inconsistency and injury throughout the 2019 season, head coach Adam Curtois believes the team is much better placed in 2020.
The Roos got their pre-season preparations underway at the start of the month, and early signs have left Curtois feeling optimistic.
"We've had a pretty positive start to the year, we've got a few new players who're looking pretty good," he said.
"I think with the guys we've gained, we're going to be a lot more balanced We've got blokes there who I'm very comfortable with at either end of the ground, I've got a really good feeling."
In 2019, AFL Canberra experimented with a Regional Men's competition, which was essentially a second Division Four for country sides, including Yass, Murrumbateman, Goulburn, Cooma, Cootamundra, and Belconnen.
Though the concept was promising, many of the teams felt it was too small with only six sides.
This year, the Roos (along with the rest of the Regional Men's teams) will return to the primary AFL Canberra competition.
Yass, along with Goulburn, Murrumbateman, and the Southern Cats, will play in Division Four, which will feature 11 teams in a 17-week competition this year.
"I'd much rather play in a comp with eleven teams rather than six," Curtois said.
"It gives a lot more variety, and there's a lot of different sorts of teams in that competition, so you've got to be up for different challenges every week."
Before the Roos take to the park, Curtois will be looking to make sure everyone is fit and healthy. Consistent, niggly injuries bedeviled the side in 2019, forcing Yass to change its lineup often.
"Last year we had a lot of blokes who had little niggling injuries that plagued their year a little bit, and we were struggling to get the same team on the park two weeks in a row," Curtois said.
"It was a competition with no bye rounds, blokes going away with family, led to a lot of inconsistency."
But Curtois is confident the Roos will be better-prepared this year, as the players have taken their fitness upon themselves.
"Our guys have been really proactive this year about everyone getting to training and getting better and having a crack at getting the flag," he said. "There's a really good energy and a really good buzz around the group."
The AFL Canberra Men's Division Four competition is set to get underway in early April. The official draw is set to be released in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the Yass Roos will hold their season launch at the Yass Golf Club on Saturday, March 7, from 6pm. During the launch, the club will also name its team of the decade.
Tickets cost $50 (which includes dinner and a drink), and RSVPs must be confirmed with Jenene Forlonge on 0417 891 955 by Thursday February 27.
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