The Griffith Swans will get their 2022 Riverina Football League season underway this weekend when they face Mangoplah CUE at Exies Oval.
The Swans will head into the game with almost a full squad with only their Giants squad members missing, but coach Greg Dreyer knows his side will be up against it this weekend.
"They were very good last year, and I'm expecting much the same," he said.
"I'd expect them to be one of the top two again this season.
Fingers crossed, we don't have any COVID cases at the moment, so that's nice, but it is still early."
Dreyer is happy with how the side has approached the season in what started out as a bit of interrupted preparation.
"We have had few interruptions, but the preseason camp was well attended, and generally, training has been pretty good," he said.
"They have put the work in where they can, and we have had the odd COVID cases here and there as well, so we were a bit stop-start in the first six to eight weeks, but since then, it has been nice and consistent.
" I think everyone is kind of in the same boat, and the first three or four weeks will be basically part of your preseason anyway."
The club has welcomed back Jordan Crowe, Sam Foley and Guy Orton back to the club but has lost some of their younger group to Coleambally and Barellan, with the likes of Dean and Kyle Bennett and Lucas, Mitchell and Riley Irvin deciding to play in the Farrer League.
Another change in the offseason has been to the leadership group, with Jack Rowston taking over from long-serving captain James Toscan.
Dreyer said Rowston had taken the added responsibility in his stride.
"I think he is enjoying it and learning on the run because it is a big job for a young bloke," he said.
"He gets involved in training and talks to the group, and he has that respect from around the group and the club."
The Rowston name has had a long association with the club with his father Phil, now coaching the under 17.5s side, inducted as a life member in 2021.
First bounce in first grade will be at around 2.10pm on Saturday.
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