Dennington skipper Shannon Beks is hoping a slightly different looking Dogs outfit can build on its impressive 2022-23 Warrnambool and District cricket campaign.
The Dogs fell to Russells Creek in last year's division one semi-finals after finishing seventh the year before and take on Northern Raiders in Saturday's round one action.
"Obviously we had a good season last year, we made the semi-finals so we'll just try and build on that again," Beks told The Standard.
"I think we can get improvement from some of our players and hopefully have another good year."
The Dogs have undergone some personnel change from last season, with key all-rounders Liam Couch and Telge Peiris departing for Geelong and Melbourne clubs.
Couch impressed with bat and ball for the side last year with 285 runs at an average of 20.4 across all formats while also snaring 16 wickets.
Peiris was also a strong contributor, notching 243 runs and claiming 11 wickets.
Promising junior Tom Powell has joined Nestles however the Dogs have recruited paceman Ben Rantall (year off and previously West Warrnambool) and top/middle-order batter Walker Owen (Wesley Yambuk).
Englishman Henry Walker, who played for Dennington last season and spent the off-season playing football with South Warrnambool, told The Standard in September he would only be available for the first couple of games of the season before doing some travelling and heading home.
The Dogs pre-season hasn't been ideal, with many of their players only finishing their football commitments less than two weeks ago.
Beks, who featured in South Warrnambool's senior Hampden league flag on September 23, said the side was shaping up "not too bad" and would be near full strength for round one.
"We're probably in a unique position where a lot of our guys, I'd say at least half of our team were still playing footy last week so we haven't had a great deal of time to prepare," he said.
"The boys are pretty keen for the season to start. Ideally we would have had a few more weeks but it is what it is I guess."
While he hadn't given it too much thought yet, Beks predicted Allansford-Panmure would be "pretty hard to beat".
The Gators, who also made the semi-finals last year, have added high-profile names such as Matt Gome (Brierly-Christ Church), Shashan Silva (Russells Creek), Shiv Kumara (Russells Creek) and Callum Bennett (overseas).
"I think they've put together a pretty good team," he said.
"They've recruited a few blokes and the players they've brought in will suit the way they want to play out at Allansford on the deck out there.
"I think Nestles will be strong again - they'll take some beating. A lot of teams have recruited pretty well to be honest. Merrivale should be pretty handy as well, I think Creek will still be thereabouts."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.