Coleambally recruit Max Hillier has hit the right notes in his first outing for the Blues along with fellow new face Kyle Pete.
In a promising pre-season fixture against Jerilderie last weekend, Hillier's form and the sheer numbers and interest were the highlights for the home club in their only game before the competition kicks off in just over a week.
"We're shaping up pretty well," co-coach Curtis Steele said.
"We had 33 or 34 players show up for the trial match so we had a lot of numbers. They only had about four on the bench, Jerilderie."
The Blues didn't keep score but Steele said they were on top throughout, led by their new recruit in the midfield.
"Max was probably the most impressive. I think he's definitely going to be a very good pick up for us and will free up a few older bodies in the midfield, like myself, to maybe go up forward.
"I've seen him play at Coolamon a few times but I was very impressed with the way he played. He's pretty strong over the footy. We probably need that inside midfielder as well, and he's got that run-and-carry package, so he's a bit of an all rounder which will be good for us."
Defender Kyle Pete was strong down back and shapes as the ideal replacement for the reliable Tom Morton.
"He was a key pick up for us, we're very glad to have him. He's got some big shoes to fill with Morto but I reckon he'll handle it," Steele said.
Jade Hodge and Steele both got amongst the goals while former defender Todd Clark was impressive on a forward flank and co-coach Luke Hillier carried his best-and-fairest winning form into the new year.
"Hopefully he can have another stellar season like he did last year. It'll be very good if we can all string it together," Steele said.
The Blues take on CSU first up, in Wagga, after having their pants pulled down by the Bushpigs at home in last year's opening game.
The Rock-Yerong Creek, meanwhile, had a big win against Canberra club Tuggeranong in their main trial outing, with Riley Budd very impressive.
It was the Magpies' first look at their new players including Budd's brother Noah, who took over his sibling's spot in the backline freeing Riley up to dominate in the middle.
"Riley had his own footy, he was very good," TRYC co-coach Heath Russell said.
"Noah was really good too playing at centre-half-back. We didn't know anything about him but he was strong."
Will Adams and Aiden Ridley were also strong in defence.
New forward James Roberts kicked three and had a number of other scoring opportunities in a promising debut having not played much footy last season.
Midfielder Cooper Diessel showed he's set to build on last year's excellent season and Russell said their depth is the most promising sign at this stage.
Tom Collins, their matchwinning star of round 17, which propelled the 'Pies into a top three finish, showed good signs ahead of their opening fixture at Barellan on April 2.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.