The Dubbo Kangaroos were only one win short of making last season's Blowes Clothing Cup finals, but in truth the ball never really got rolling in 2018.
A new system implemented by the newly-appointed director of rugby and former Super Rugby winner Beau Robinson took plenty of time to adjust to, while a horror run of injuries stunted any momentum created.
But this time around, things are different.
The 2019 Central West Rugby Union season starts on Saturday with the Roos playing host to the Bathurst Bulldogs.
A new first grade coach in Simon Petelo and a number of new faces has injected plenty of energy into pre-season, while players across all grades are now accustomed to the new way or working both on and off the field.
"We're leaps and bounds ahead of where we were this time last year," experienced back-rower Simon Hegarty said.
"Our number one goal is getting back into finals contention. We're into the second year of this program now and we're going in with more confidence.
"That being said, this is the first game and there's going to be teething issues but that (finals) is the goal and we want to be there right at the end of the season."
There is no easing into things for the Roos, with the opening round against a Bulldogs side aiming to go one step further in 2019 after being beaten by Orange Emus in last season's grand final.
The Roos and Bulldogs have played countless enthralling contests across the years, and Hegarty expects nothing different this time around.
"It's always a good contest across all the grades," Hegarty said.
"They're fast and they're physical and it's always exciting footy, which is good."
Some new faces and big bodies in the Roos pack will ensure there will be no backing down come Saturday afternoon at No. 1 Oval.
Will Michell has come across from Trangie to link with the Roos, while Will Archer and Gus Howard will also muscle up against an experienced and talented Bulldogs pack.
"We've got some tall timber ... it will be interesting to see how we go," Hegarty said.
"Myself and (Shaun) McHugh are the older fellas these days, it's good to some new faces."
Hegarty also singled out last season's colts captain, Ben Knaggs, as another who will be pushing for a first grade spot this year.
Despite the pre-season progress and new additions, injury concerns are still hurting the Roos.
Central West representative and former Eastwood captain Mark Baldwin continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered early last season while Jock Brownhill, a standout during 2018, is almost certain to miss this entire season after he underwent surgery on a vertebrae issue earlier in the year.
Kick-off at No. 1 Oval on Saturday is at 3.15pm.