It's a different feeling for Bunbury co-captain Codey Hay leading into the 2018 South West Football League season.
The difference? After 14 seasons, it's being the reigning champs.
"It's new territory for me with our boys coming out as a defending premiership team," he told Triple M's Out of Bounds.
"I'll be looking forward to backing that up with the boys. The feeling of that was unbelievable."
A strong 2017 regular season saw Bunbury's league team line up as favourites leading into the finals series.
But they stumbled in the Second Semi Final, losing to the HBL Lions in a 6 goal defeat.
The Bulldogs would sneak home against the Harvey Bulls in the Prelim Final and give themselves some hope of getting the job done on Grand Final day.
Bouyed with their Colts team winning earlier in the day and both Lions' teams faltering in the Colts and Reserves, Hay's team went out and blitzed the game early in greasy conditions to win by 50 points in a near flawless performance.
And it all came off the back of a rebuild, that Hay was well and truly apart of.
"With the rebuild, we weren't getting the success with the travellers that we had. But it would have been a waste if we hadn't put our Colts through. And they come through as a really enthusiastic bunch of guys.
"Myself and Brad Blake (co-captain) we wanted to build a vibrant fun culture at the club and get people on board and enjoy their footy first.
"We try to make it a place that people want to be at and that's really paid off."
Bunbury will line up in Round 1 against the Eaton Boomers at Glen Huon Reserve and it's a big challenge despite being favourites.
"Coming into this round is dangerous territory because we haven't played Eaton at their home ground for two or three years because of the redevelopment."