Every time a new season rolls around the expectation is there.
It’s part of the game now for Dubbo FC.
The Bulls aim to be at the top every year and rightly so after such a dominant run in the Dubbo and District Football Association’s recent history.
They’ve suffered their fair share of heartbreak and shock losses on the biggest day of the season but turn up again the next year with the goal firmly set on that grand final once more.
This year, things are no different.
“We aim to finish top or at least top two so we can make that major semi-final and then there’s no reason why we can’t win it,” long-serving Bulls player Scott Fox said.
“We wish we could just expect to win it but with Macquarie, (Orana) Spurs and (South Dubbo) Wanderers it’s not a given. But there’s no reason why we can’t win it and finishing in that top two is a realistic goal and that’s what we expect to do.”
The Bulls finished minor premiers last season but were brushed aside by Macquarie United in a stunning grand final.
The motivation for redemption in 2018 is clear to see with Fox stating there has been huge numbers during pre-season while the Dubbo FC club also has an extra side now, with a team to contest third grade.
“I think we underestimated the effort to get the new side at first but now it’s looking good and the club is growing and we’ve started juniors so it’s going to be a big season,” Fox said.
The season starts for the Bulls at Lady Cutler 3 on Sunday, with the newly-promoted Wellington Wildcats the opposition.
The addition of Wellington and Newtown means the first grade competition has changed from a four-team to six-team competition.
“The four teams got a bit repetitive and boring but with Wellington and Newtown there it’s good for the competition,” Fox said.
“I’ve got no doubt they’ll be there for a few years and we won’t be taking them lightly.
“But it’s good for the sport and good to see more numbers and hopefully next season we could get up to seven or eight teams.”
In terms of this weekend, the Bulls will start as favourites and while not getting carried away Fox said his side “expects” to win and start the season well after such a rigorous pre-season.
The Bulls head into round one after taking out the Challenge Cup at Mudgee last weekend and a player who shone there shapes as one of the side’s stars this season.
“Brodie Austin has played with us for a few seasons and will be our first grade striker this season and we’re expecting big things,” Fox said when discussing players to watch.
“He single-handedly won us the tournament at Mudgee, I think he scored about eight goals, so internally there’s going to be a lot of expectation on him and I think he will make a few other teams sit up and pay attention to him.”
Elsewhere in the opening round, Macquarie United begins its title defence against Newtown while Orana Spurs takes on South Dubbo Wanderers.
All first grade matches kick-off at 3pm on Sunday.
DDFA FIRST ROUND
Sunday, 3pm kick-off
Dubbo FC v Wellington Warriors
Macquarie United v Newtown
Orana Spurs v South Dubbo Wanderers