After a lacklustre finish to the season in 2018, the Queanbeyan Tigers First Grade side is back and ready to go following a busy pre-season.
General manager of the club and First Grade head coach, Adrian Pavese, said that his side has put its 81-77 loss to Eastlake in last year's semi-final firmly in the past.
"Things just didn't pan out unfortunately and we conceded a few late goals at the end of the first semi," Pavese said.
"Our expectation is always to go deep, especially with the squad that we've got.
"We haven't focused too much on the disappointment of last year, what we've focused on is how to build to be a more consistent footy team."
Warily, Pavese believes that the answer to that question is beginning to appear. The First Grade side has played two warm-up matches: one against an under-strength Pennant Hills side at home, and the other against the Griffith Swans in Temora.
"Pennant Hills unfortunately came down with a depleted squad ... so we had it our own way a little bit in that game," Pavese said.
"What I was pleased about was that we held our shape and no-one went goal-hunting or kick-chasing, which was good.
"And then on the weekend, we played Griffith, who played in the Riverina grand final last year. It was a very good, contested game of footy, and it was pretty much what we needed, that hard contest."
With just under three weeks until the competition starts on April 13, the Tigers will now take some time to rest and recuperate before their first match of the season, against the Gungahlin Jets at Allinsure Park.
The Jets are still quite new to the competition, but Pavese said that the Tigers will not underestimate their opponents and will use it as an opportunity to gauge where their game is at.
"We're excited, Gungahlin are improving every year and they're still relatively new in the premier league,"
"They were always going to battle the first couple of years to build up, but they've had a good 12 months now under John Love, who's their coach, and a very established player.
"They've recruited exceptionally well, and we get them at the right time of year where they're going to be full strength and they'll have a red-hot go at us."
Between now and then, Pavese said, he and the team will focus on getting their bodies right and ensuring that they are in the best possible shape going into the first round.
"We need a good, solid rest before we head into round one," he said.
"We'll focus on a little bit of recovery this week to get rid of the soreness. With the week off next week, we'll ramp it up again [at training], and then get in some match preparation leading into round one."
The Queanbeyan Tigers' First Grade side will play the Gungahlin Jets at Allinsure Park at 1.15pm on Saturday April 13.