Maitland coach Michael Bolch believes the addition of Joel Wood and return of injured players next season will keep the club in a strong position.
The Magpies finished third and beat Broadmeadow 1-0 on Sunday but bowed out with a 3-2 aggregate loss across the semi-final tie.
They were left to rue a missed penalty on Sunday but were able to reflect on a successful first season under Bolch, who took over after eight at Hamilton.
He confirmed Wood, 34, who played at Maitland in 2014 and ’15, had agreed to return. The former Jets striker scored eight goals for last-placed Valentine this year.
“We’re not looking at recruiting too much,” Bolch said. “We’ve re-signed our starting 11 and nine starters from the under 20s grand final team. There’s some good boys coming through, like the Duggans [Adam and Tom], Louis Townsend and Lachlan Yates.”
The Magpies hope to get back Chris Fayers after his overseas trials and Ryan Broadley and Blake Thompson, who did not play this year. Matt Thompson is set to return and will have an operation on his damaged knee, which he played on over the final few matches.
** Newcastle High and Hunter Sports will play for third spot on Wednesday in the Bill Turner Cup and Trophy (under 15s) after semi-final losses on Tuesday at Speers Point. Westfields Sports beat Newcastle 3-0 in the boys and take on Toowoomba Grammar in the final.
Newcastle play Bossley Park. Hunter Sports lost to Westfields 4-2 on penalties in the girls and play Kelvin Grove State College. Westfields meet Holy Spirit Bellambi in the final.
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