Thomastown had added extra depth as it looks to complement its list in Northern Football League division 2.

The Bears finished fourth last season, showing at times they could match it with top teams before being knocked out in the first week of finals.

With most of that squad returning, Bears coach Ben Chapman knows they are entering the season well placed.

“It’s been a good pre-season, but it can be a bit arduous after a while – we’re looking forward to starting to play,” he said.

“Nearly all of last year’s side has returned. It gives you a good starting platform, as you’re not looking to replace players.

“We’ve worked out areas we need to address to make the next step.”

The Bears have added several players they expect to step into the best side, many with experience at a higher level.

Bundoora trio Michael Gravina, Benjamin Nesci and Kane Slater, and Macleod’s Brayden Plant have stepped down a division.

Daniel Caruso, who finished runner-up in the league division 3 best and fairest last year, has also come across.

“They are really positive and we’ve got a couple of players coming back who haven’t played a lot the last couple of years,” Chapman said.

“It’s the experience when the games get tough that will be the benefit. Bundoora and Macleod have been fairly successful clubs the last few years.

“When you have a young list, it’s about what they bring off field as well.”

Chapman said the depth would also help the side cover for not fielding an under-19 team.

He said an under-19 side was getting closer, but they just couldn’t get the numbers this season.

But a couple of under-17 players who have come across from Mill Park are set to get some opportunities to play in the senior side.

Chapman said the key this season was to make sure they are more consistent within games and from week to week.

“It’s a long year and like everybody, we aim to play finals,” he said.

“The club as a whole has to improve – if we can get improvements as a club, that is the next step.

“Last season, we beat Lower Plenty late in the year and we weren’t far away from Eltham.

“The list is young and we had some quality periods in games, but we then had some periods where we dropped off and were easy to score against.

“We’ve got to work on that and make sure we’re not being hurt on the scoreboard like that.

“We weren’t far away, but it’s a whole new ball game.”

The Bears will start their season on April 6 against Eltham.