Tim Beach hates to be that guy.
He knows there's always those few people who make a bold prediction before the season begins and so often they end up with egg on their face.
The Dubbo Kangaroos winger can't help himself though.
"I hate to be someone who speaks too soon and predicts the season but I genuinely think this Dubbo side is going to be a finals contender, I really do," he said.
"And that puts a lot of excitement in my mind."
Beach is part of a core group at the Roos which has been left frustrated and dejected during the past two Blowes Clothing Cup seasons.
After seven successive appearances in the finals, the Roos haven't played semis for the past two years.
But there's real excitement around the club heading into Saturday's opening round meeting with the defending premiers, Bathurst Bulldogs.
And the reason why is pretty simple, according to Beach.
"There's a better feeling at the club and a general positive vibe but this year I think the first grade side is better quality. It comes down to that," he said.
"Higher standard of players makes everyone's job easier. You don't need to repeat things five, six, or seven times."
New players like Moa Kavaefiafi, Jake Styles, and former NSW Country representative Filisione Pauta are expected to add plenty to the Roos this season while many returning players are expected to take their game to a new level.
While COVID-19 put a halt on preparations, the Roos had been enduring an intense pre-season program up to that point.
Many of the players were part of a strength and conditioning program which started in the middle of summer and the results are clear to see.
"There was tests at the start and then after 12 or 13 weeks they were tested again and the strength gains were ridiculous," Beach added.
The benefits of that are expected to show at scrum time, with the early signs during a strong trial win at Tamworth last weekend hugely positive.
"That's the most well-structured trial I've played with the Roos," Beach said.
"Before the game we said there would be a lot of errors but there was barely any and we stuck to the structure we've been training with, where in previous years it just hasn't clicked."
Beach, in particular, is excited about the Roos pack getting more ball to what is going to be a revamped backline featuring Pauta, Kavaefiafi, and now Johnny Mafifi.
Beach will line up on the wing on Saturday despite niggling injuries.
He suffered ligament and tendon damage to his ankle while playing in a tens tournament in Sydney late last year and it still hasn't fully healed while a nagging hamstring has also kept him pre-season somewhat quieter than others.
"My plan is to go in all guns blazing," he said, before looking at the defending premiers.
"I think the general consensus of the club is to get on top of Bulldogs.
"They're great fellas but their whole persona last year and only dropping one game, I think, has put a bit of a target on their heads.
"If we can knock up a win over Bathurst first-up it puts us in a good spot."
The Roos will be playing their home matches at Apex Oval this season as the redevelopment of No. 1 Oval continues.
The action on Saturday starts with third grade at 10.30am while the first grade action kicks off at 3.15pm.