It's been almost 15 years since the Dubbo Demons last won the AFL Central West first grade title, and now incoming skipper Joe Hedger is hoping he can be the man to lift the trophy at the end of the season.
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Hedger was named captain of the Demons late last week taking over from Dylan Fairall while Nathan Carroll will serve as his deputy this season when the first match begins on April 29.
One of the long-term club members in the Demons' first grade unit, Hedger is eager to get stuck into his new role.
"It wasn't something I expected going into this season," he said.
"So to be voted by your fellow teammates and new players to take on the role has taken me back a bit.
"I'm not really going to say too much just lead by example with my actions on the field."
It wasn't an official match but the midfielder got to lead his team out for the first time last Saturday when the Demons took on Tumbarumba in the annual Izac Cornell Memorial match, a game which was won by the latter.
With just over a fortnight until round one, Hedger believes the match was still a positive outcome for the club.
"You can't get match fitness until you play an actual match regardless of how tough pre-season is," he said.
"It was a good hit out, to be honest, we didn't have many first graders available that have been rocking up to training.
"It was good to see a lot of new blokes to the club and sport get a chance to play, I think we had 20-odd blokes.
"We had a fair few rotations plus in the opening quarter a pair of our midfielders were playing for Tumbarumba so it was always going to be hard but we wanted the challenge.
"Minutes in the legs were good and everyone pulled up okay, so now we are looking at another trial before round one."
The Demons' first grade side finished third last season, narrowly missing out on hosting a home preliminary final.
Travelling to Bathurst to face the Giants, the home side got the better of the Dubbo outfit but Hedger believes this year's group can do something special.
"Even on Saturday playing, in patches when we played things that we have worked on training showed and that was with new blokes playing," he said.
"You can see it really coming along, we are fitter than we ever have been which is going to be pretty good.
"I'm pretty keen for the season just with the club as a whole, I think it's going to be a really good year."
The Demons have picked up Adrian Hickey and Andrew Grinter from the Bathurst Bushrangers while talented juniors Jake Egan and Xander Lakin are both set to feature in the club's first grade side at some point this season.
No draw for the three senior grades has been released yet but should be revealed in the next couple of weeks.
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