TO most in AFL South Coast circles, including Bomaderry coach Matt Barnes, the premier division season of the Tigers was deemed a success - even though they didn't win the premiership.
After winning the division one title in 2018, the Tigers returned to the top grade and secured an impressive finals berth, where they were defeated by eventual runners-up Figtree.
It's this ascendancy that convinced Barnes to return to the helm for the 2020 campaign.
"I wanted to give it [coaching] another crack because I honestly feel that we have some unfinished business," Barnes said.
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"It's a bit of a cliche but I want to continue the improvement from last year which saw us raise a division and play finals."
Barnes will be assisted by numerous coaches in the men's program this season, including Jeremy Owens, who has taken over the reins of the division one side from Brent Tyrrell.
"I've been very fortunate that each of the guys I approached to come on board in a coaching capacity accepted - including Andrew Lee, Rhys Arnold and Blair Oliver who will all help with the premier men's side," Barnes said.
"Jeremy Owens has also come on board to give the division one side a fresh look after all Brent's work over the past two years.
"Jeremy and I both played our early Aussie Rules at Lara in the Geelong Football League, so it's great to reunite with him halfway across the country more than 20 years on.
"On top of that, we won a division two flag two seasons ago together - I'm really excited to be able to work with him in this capacity."
Heading into year two at Artie Smith Oval, Barnes admits he learnt plenty about his own coaching, which he will take into 2020.
"Looking at last year, I think the main learning point for me was to be confident in my ideas," he said.
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"Midway through the year, I dramatically changed our training focus around and without going into detail, it coincided with steady improvement.
"This saw us get a couple of upset wins in the last few games of the year and secure a finals spot."
Although the Tigers' pre-season, which has been going since November, has been affected by the bushfires, smoke and now wet conditions, Barnes knows his troops will be ready for round one on Saturday, April 4.
"I've been super impressed by every bloke that's trained," he said.
"The attitude across the group has been fantastic, with a preparedness to work really hard in challenging conditions."
While Barnes has lost the services of Matt Paynter, Connor Clarke, John Muggleton, Brent Herdman and Charlie Rodden this year, he's added Blake Munilla, Tom Nicholls, Lee and James Phillips.
On top of that, Barnes is expecting big seasons out of Matt Lawrence, Jack Batson and Lachlan Hunt - which should all help in the club's ultimate goal this year.
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"Making the finals was a good effort last year, given we effectively came from a division below," he said.
"Our main goal this year is to further refine our game style and execute our plans perfectly.
"If we do this, then the results will come and we'll be playing in September again."
The Tigers men's squad train on Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm at Artie Smith Oval, while the women's team, again coached by Geoff Gibbs, train at the same venue on Monday and Thursday from 6pm.