Injuries have plagued the Kempsey Cannonballs over the past two seasons and it has directly led to the team missing the finals series.
However, coach Carl Thurgood is hopeful the added depth to the squad this year will help prevent the same downfall.
The Cannons will benefit from a number of players from the 2018 premiership winning Under-18s team stepping up into the senior ranks this year.
Heath Lancaster, Tyler Allan and Harry Mainey have all tasted first grade before and they will be joined by Hugh Shannon and other former juniors, who will look to state a claim for a jersey in the top grade this year.
The Cannons have also added Nathan Phillips, who has earned rugby league representative honours in the past, and a couple of other players to their squad.
"Pre-season has been going really well, we have had great numbers to training and experienced coaches Jared Fuller, James Lancaster and Allan Nugent have been lending a hand too," Thurgood told the Argus.
"Those younger guys are really starting to prove they are first grade players and I expect a lot of them to be in the team this year."
The Cannonballs will face their first test this Saturday when they travel to Armidale to do battle with the Barbarians.
Unfortunately it will be Kempsey's only pre-season match before the season kicks off on April 6.
Cannonballs have a bye for round one and will have a similar stop-start season to last year as they play the Coffs harbour Snappers in round two before there's a bye for the Easter long weekend.