The Positivity Files is The Standard's new mini series which celebrates the reasons Hampden league fans can be excited for their club's fortunes in 2022.
Hamilton Kangaroos' 2021 campaign started full of hope with an impressive victory over Port Fairy. The 40-point triumph was encouraging, but the manner of it was even more promising.
The Roos used slick coast-to-coast ball movement in patches to rip through the Seagulls' midfield and defence and stretch the field of play.
Hopes were high and fans were positive about what could come under legendary coach Gerard FitzGerald, despite several off-season departures.
Results started to slip and as more youngsters were blooded into the side - in line with FitzGerald's growth from within philosophy - it became evident it was only the start of the Melville Oval-based club's journey.
New coach Hamish Waldron - a long term captain at the club - is expected to drive strong standards and keep the club on its upward trajectory.
Here's why Hamilton Kangaroos fans can feel positive about 2022.
THE NEW COACH, THE NEW IDEAS
FitzGerald is a gentleman and a transformative coach in many respects - his three-time VFL premiership mentor status confirms that - and it's now up to Waldron to carry on the positives he put in place while in charge.
Waldron will be a respected figure at the club, having played since its inception in 2013 and will be able to get the players on board with his ideas.
"It has always been in the back of my mind and the older I was starting to get, the more I was thinking about it," he said.
"I have always been an assistant coach and helped at training and I was taking one night a week for 'Fitzy' (Gerard FitzGerald) this year and did it with 'Dunny' (Matt Dunn) for years and enjoyed working with him.
"I always thought one day I'd have a go at it and the opportunity felt right."
A new coach can bring excitement and energy to a club and the Kangaroos will be hopeful the momentum can carry it forward.
Waldron won't sell the farm to recruits and will instead focus on retention in a bid to continue the club's growth from within model.
"I've mainly just been on contact with all the players who've been on our list from last year so far," he said.
"We want to make sure we sign all them up before we talk to any others. I'm big on making sure they're there before we go to get other ones.
"I'm big on looking after my own that are there before we go to get any other players. I'd rather your blokes that've been at the club stay at the club rather than trying to pick up someone else and you haven't talked to them yet."
THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE TOUGHER THEY ARE
Hamilton Kangaroos is blessed with a wealth of tall talent. Squeezing the most out of it could be a real difference-maker in 2022.
Retaining Lachie Waddell - a former VFL talent from Port Melbourne - would be a real sign of intent with the big man capable of making a mark in both attack and defence.
Ever-reliable forwards Hugh Douglas and Darcy Russell will also be key cogs as the Kangaroos vie to snap a nine-year finals drought.
Waldron is keen to use the talls to advantage but is careful of being too reliant or top-heavy.
"(Talls) are a positive, depending on the conditions you're playing," Waldron said.
"Grounds get pretty boggy down (Warrnambool) way. Usually you can carry a couple of talls at home but when you get on the boggier grounds you get a bit scared to go top-heavy.
"On a dry day, you back them in because it's always a hard match-up for the opposition. If you have a couple of talls out there and you can throw them around a little bit, you can start stretching them a bit."
THE EVOLVING GAMEPLAN
Don't think Hamish Waldron won't produce his own gameplan. The first-year mentor will draw on learnings from his time under FitzGerald but the carpenter will make use of his own intellectual property.
Personnel will play a big part in the style of footy Waldron elects to employ in his first season at the helm.
"We'll probably change it a little bit. We'll wait and see what recruits we can get before we see how we want to play," he said.
"You don't want to go in there with a mindset of 'this is how we want to play' but realise it doesn't suit the players or you don't have the cattle to do it.
"We tried when (Matt) Dunn was coaching a few years ago, we tried to play fast footy all the time and that's hard to do.
"You couldn't sustain it for four quarters unfortunately."
THE GREEN SHOOTS
Noah Uebergang, Duncan Rentsch, Bailey Mason, Ethan Knight, Max Green, Magnus Newells, Vincent Huf.
A commitment to building a strong junior program is starting to pay dividends for the Melville Oval-based club.
All of those juniors - barring Huf, who spent the majority of the season in the Greater Western Victoria Rebels program - were beyond serviceable in their first full season of senior footy.
"We gave someone like Duncan Rentsch a few jobs too. He played on Shane Savage and I reckon he tagged Billie Smedts the day we played North Warrnambool," Waldron said.
"We gave him a couple of big jobs and he just did them well, which is good."
THE OFF-FIELD STRENGTH
Everything about Hamilton Kangaroos emanates professionalism. The Kangaroos have long been run brilliantly off-field and chairman Lachy Patterson will continue to ensure the club is performing as well as it possibly can be off the field and court.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.