North Wagga's search for a coach to steer their premiership defence continues with president Brendan Nilsen conceding they're still on the hunt for next year's leader.
The Saints say their main priority is to secure the right person to replace Kirk Hamblin but, two months after their grand final success, Nilsen admits time is starting to close in on them.
"We're pretty well where we were at the end of the season," Nilsen said.
"We've had a few talks to a few people. You'd think after winning the premiership and having the most successful season for the club, that's across the juniors as well as seniors, it would've been a bit easier.
"But we don't want to just get anyone. We need to get the right fit for our club. I'd love to get something done by December."
North Wagga are certain to have a different look about them after James Morris and Lachie Steward retired after the grand final, backman Brayden Skeers has headed to Henty, and Tom Bennetts, Jed Winter and Jake May are all set to move away.
May, who's superb form in the midfield in recent seasons attracted interest from some Riverina League clubs, says work opportunities are set to take him to the coast.
"At this stage I'll be moving in March. I'm going to Wollongong, mainly for work reasons, and I think footy will have to take a backseat for a year," May said.
The departures are significant but Nilsen said the club will retain the core of a premiership-wining outfit and said they have plenty of confidence in their emerging juniors.
"We've signed probably 21 or 22 of our players from reserves and firsts so we've kept the nucleus of the side," he said.
"It could be strengthened with a couple of players and, probably like everybody else, we'd love to find a ruckman. But big blokes are just like diamonds to find."
Nilsen said while the search for a coach hasn't been straightforward, the club is in a strong position having turned its financial fortunes around to ensure a sustainable future. He also believes they're in a position to reap the benefits of the junior and senior clubs merger of a couple of years ago.
The Rock-Yerong Creek, meanwhile, are also hunting key position players but have welcomed the return of premiership defender Aiden Ridley after a season with his home club Tullibigeal for their centenary season in the Northern Riverina League.
And Heath Russell is also back at Victoria Park after a year off following an impressive 2018 season.
"Heath has signed on as an assistant coach, he's a terrific fella and he'll be important for us," new TRYC coach Brad Aiken said.
"Aiden Ridley is coming back and he'll be good for us across half-back, he's very good with the footy, and behind the ball, and he's what we require.
"We've signed another young fella, Matt Bradley from Coolamon, who's mates with a couple of guys here and he's keen to have a crack and impress. Hopefully he'll be a good acquisition for us and he'll probably play a key position down back."
A prospective key forward has fallen through due to work constraints but the Magpies will continue to look for a strong goalkicking option Aiken said.