New coach, new expectations and a new sense of optimism.
Both Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar head into next season looking to climb the table with the former looking to build on their semi-final heartbreak.
The Roar meanwhile will look to ensure last season was just a minor blimp in a decade filled with success.
The Reds enter the new season with a sense of optimism, keeping the majority of their squad and bringing in an enigmatic new coach who is looking to take them to the next level.
Dutch manager Gertjan Verbeek joins the side after coaching a plethora of sides throughout Europe, including the likes of Feyenoord and FC Twente.
After losing star-winger Craig Goodwin to Al-Wehda and midfielder Isaias, Verbeek has been in the market for some added creativity which comes in the form of Socceroo James Troisi and youngster Riley McGree.
Troisi, 31, returns to South Australia after lengthy spells overseas and most recently at their rivals, Melbourne Victory while McGree returns home on loan from Belgian giants Club Brugge after stints at both Newcastle and Melbourne City on respective loan deals.
However, the latter doesn’t present a like-for-like replacement option for the outgoing Spaniard with the Reds still yet to find a player who sits in the middle of the park.
This pre-season has been a solid one for Adelaide as they have reached the FFA Cup Final and look to defend their crown against Melbourne City on October 23 at home after defeating both Newcastle and Central Coast to make a return to the final two.
INS: Michaël Maria (Charlotte Independence, USA), Riley McGree (Club Brugge KV, Belgium), Kristian Opseth (BB Erzurumspor, Turkey) and Al Hassan Toure (promoted), James Troisi
OUTS: Isaias (released), Scott Galloway (Melbourne City), Baba Diawara (released), Craig Goodwin (Al-Wehda), Ken Ilso Larsen (released)
Full squad list
Goalkeepers: Paul Izzo, Daniel Margush, Isaac Richards
Defenders: Jordan Elsey, Michael Jakobsen (C), Michaël Maria, Michael Marrone
Midfielders: Mirko Boland, Lachlan Brook, Louis D’Arrigo, Ben Halloran, Ryan Kitto, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Vince Lia, Riley McGree, Ryan Strain, James Troisi
Forwards: Carlo Armiento, George Blackwood, Kristin Konstandopoulos, Nikola Mileusnić, Pacifique Niyongabire, Kristian Opseth, Al Hassan Toure, Kusini Yengi
Last season was one to forget for Roar fans.
A record amount of goals conceded and an ageing squad which caught up on them saw the side drop out of the top six for the first time since 2010.
With John Aloisi moved on midway during the season, caretaker boss Darren Davies tried to steer the sinking ship and they were just able to avoid a wooden spoon.
However, God has arrived up north with Robbie Fowler taking the reins and an entire squad cleanout has come with it.
A total of 14 new players have joined the Roar while 16 were also moved on from the club, meaning Brisbane will almost be unrecognisable this season.
Headlining the list of incoming players is Brad Inman who after plying his trade in England’s lower leagues is looking to make a return to the Socceroos setup.
Fowler has also brought in a range of players from England and Scotland’s football hierarchy including Tom Aldred, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Macaulay Gillesphey and Jay O’Shea while Roy O’Donovan looks to be the focal point up front.
The Liverpool legend has a big task on his hands in leading the Roar up the table but have shown glimpses of their capabilities in the FFA Cup which included a surprise win over Sydney FC before being bundled out by Central Coast Mariners on penalties.
INS: Roy O’Donovan, Tom Aldred, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Macaulay Gillesphey, Jake McGing, George Mells, Brad Inman, Aiden O’Neill, Jay O’Shea, Scott Neville, Max Crocombe, Jai Ingham, Rahmat Akbari
OUTS: Matt McKay, Henrique, Thomas Kristensen, Brett Holman, Luke DeVere, Eric Bautheac, Eli Babalj, Joe Caletti, Charles Lokoli-Ngoy, Alex Lopez, Tobias Mikkelsen, Stefan Nigro, Brendan White, Ruon Tongyik, Nick D’Agostino, Dane Ingham
Full squad list
Goalkeepers: Max Crocombe, Macklin Freke, Jamie Young
Defenders: Tom Aldred, Daniel Bowles, Jordan Courtney-Perkins, Macaulay Gillesphey, Jack Hingert, Jake McGing, Scott Neville, Connor O’Toole, Izaacl Powell, Aaron Reardon, Kai Trewin
Midfielders: Rahmat Akbari, Stefan Mauk, George Mells, Aiden O’Neill, Jay O’Shea, Jacob Pepper
Forwards: Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Jai Ingham, Bradden Inman, Roy O’Donovan, Dylan Wenzel-Halls