After a nine round home and away 2020 season in a year that was interrupted by COVID-19, Great Southern Football League (GSFL) sides from across the region are gearing up to do battle on Saturday, April 10.
Can Langhorne Creek make it four premierships in a row? Will Encounter Bay continue their rise? Can teams like Myponga-Sellicks, Victor Harbor and Goolwa/Port Elliot successfully rebuild?
The 2021 season poses many questions and with a full 18 rounds before finals, we can expect plenty of great footy.
Round 1 is generally hard to predict, with upsets often being the flavour of the week. To launch this year's GSFL season however, many of last year's top sides are playing lower ranked opponents, potentially offering up some predictable results.
It will be telling to see whether the status quo is maintained, or if the bottoms sides from last year are on the march up the ladder.
Now for the predictions:
Strathalbyn v Encounter Bay
Strathalbyn struggled in 2020 to finish seventh at season's end, while the Bays flew high to make the grand final. Strathalbyn will be hungry to improve and will have some support on the home deck but the Bays should win this one.
Encounter Bay by 26 points.
Victor Harbor v Willunga
For Willunga's lofty standards, scraping into finals to be knocked out in a prelim would sting, so expect them to come out hungry.
Victor Harbor is continuing its rebuild after also losing a prelim in 2019. Expect the Demons to be too strong.
Willunga by 40 points.
Myponga-Sellicks v McLaren
Myponga-Sellicks had an improved year in 2020, but still struggled against the stronger sides. New recruits could help lift the club higher, but the ever impressive McLaren will be hard to beat.
After finishing on 8-1 last year, McLaren should have advanced further in the finals race and will be hungry to make amends.
McLaren by 43 points.
Mount Compass v Goolwa-Port Elliot
Mount Compass were slightly off tune in 2020, and would have rued only just missing their chance to defeat Willunga in the elimination final due to poor kicking.
Goolwa-Port Elliot spent another season at the bottom to finish with only a single win. However, they have ramped up their recruitment efforts in 2021 and with some big names secured, look to be vastly improved this year.
You would still expect Mount Compass with their ultra consistent brand of football to get the job done.
Mount Compass by 38 points.
Langhorne Creek v Yankalilla
Langhorne Creek are an absolute powerhouse side and have firmly established themselves as a dynasty. Not many teams are able to go back-to-back-to-back, especially in a competitive competition like the GSFL.
Can they make it four in a row? You'd better believe they think they can, and from the season's outset they'd have to be flag favourites once again.
Yankalilla were an interesting side last year who wound up finishing sixth, perhaps losing some games they could have won. Expect a stronger, more polished Tiger side this year.
Langhorne Creek by 41 points.