THE more things change, the more they stay the same.
That could be said of three Hampden league clubs as they prepare for their round one clashes.
Camperdown, Cobden and Terang Mortlake have lured past players back to their clubs for the 2018 season.
Nick Bateman, Fraser Lucas and Luke Mahony will play for the Magpies at Leura Oval on Saturday.
Their opponent, the Bloods, will feature a host of returning players in Jordie McKenzie, Joel Moloney, Mark Clissold, Alex Moloney, Nick Couch and Stephen Staunton.
At Cobden, Paul Hinkley, Tim Horan and Daniel Watson will run out again in Bombers colours.
Camperdown coach Phil Carse hopes Bateman (Woorndoo-Mortlake), Lucas (Myrtleford) and Mahony (Southern Mallee Giants) can make an immediate impact.
“They are guys who have already played a lot of football at the club and have grown up there,” he said.
“There’s family connections, they’re tight knit.”
Carse expects Bateman, who can play key position defence, to be a target in the Pies’ attack.
“He provides a strong contest and fills the void of Jordan Bain,” he said.
“They are very different style players. Nick has a really strong set of hands.”
Carse is confident the injury-prone Jacob Mahony will play a role in the Magpies’ forward line alongside Bateman, while recruit Patrick Fairbank will be a crumbing option when he debuts.
Fairbank, who is on Werribee’s supplementary list, was available for round one selection before falling ill and will have to wait to run out for his new club.
But the Magpies will have the benefit of VFL-listed Jack Williams against Terang Mortlake.
Carse said Williams would stablise the Magpies’ defensive unit.