It's a new era for the A-League - new season, new leadership, new club.
But the narrative remains the same for the Newcastle Jets.
Just 18 months after finishing second and being dudded by a VAR malfunction in the grand final, the Jets have been written off as a competition contender.
Powerhouse clubs Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC and big-spending Perth Glory are again expected to dominate.
The Jets, who finished seventh last season, are on the sixth line of betting with bookmakers at $13 to win the championship and most experts give them little hope.
Former Socceroos striker and A-League coach John Kosmina has predicted the Jets to collect the wooden spoon, while fellow former national team players and now respected Fox Sports football analysts Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater did not have them in the top six.
"Even when we went all the way to the grand final, they were tipping us not to do anything like that," said Jets captain Nigel Boogaard, who was in Sydney on Tuesday for the official launch of the season. "It's part and parcel of being from Newcastle or a smaller club. I don't think any of the experts want to step outside their comfort zone and tip a smaller club, who they genuinely think might have a chance. That's taboo for them.
"They can write us off as much as they want. Some boys might read into it and take it as motivation to stick it to them.
"At the end of the day, each player looks at it and knows we have enough quality in the squad to do something this year regardless of the so called experts."
The Jets finished five points behind sixth placed Wellington last season.
They gave up late goals to lose games to Adelaide and Melbourne Victory and drop points against Adelaide, Brisbane and Victory.
"As disappointing as it was to miss the six, we weren't that far off," Boogaard said. "There were a few key games, where had we gotten across the line or not dropped points, it could have been a different scenario come the finals.
"Maybe we didn't have the same arrogance or confidence as we did the year we made the grand final. A few more goals rolled in and last year they didn't. If you flip two or three of those results out of 27 rounds and all of a sudden you are in the six.
"For us it is about making sure we are back there and not a team that yoyos in and out of finals. We want to be there every year and I think there is enough quality in our squad to make sure that happens."
Last season's leading goal-scorer Roy O'Donovan, marquee midfielder Ronny Vargas, fullback Daniel Georgivski and promising winger Joey Champness have departed.
In their place are Panamanian Abdiel Arroyo, former Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan, high-octane winger Nick Fitzgerald and exciting fullbacks Bobby Burns and Matt Millar.
Injury has again struck with Hoolahan (ankle) and back-up striker Kaine Sheppard (foot) sidelined until at least January.
"We have the majority of the squad back together,"Boogaard said. "We have also had new faces who have come in like Bobby and Matty and Fitzy and Arroyo ... it's exciting to see how it is all going to pan out. We have had a good pre-season but it all changes when there is someone on the line and three points up for grabs."
The introduction of Melbourne franchise Western United has created a bye, which the Jets have in round one.
"Obviously it is a bit frustrating for us having to watch the first round," Boogaard said. "At least we can sit back and watch how everyone goes, how everyone plays and take it from there."
The Jets open their campaign against fierce rivals Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday week.
The inclusion of Western United - the first new club since Wanderers in 2011-12 - is among a raft of changes designed to revitalise the league, which is now largely being being run by club owners.
"The next two to three years will shape the league and where it is headed with it going independent," said Boogaard, who is also on the Professional Footballers Australian players union executive. "There are a lot of key things that need to fall into place to make sure the game is stable for decades to come.
"Although we can't control anything outside of what happens on the pitch, it's up to us to make sure the product is good and everyone is entertained by what they see on the park.
"This year with the addition of quality imports and, more importantly, the local players who are stepping up, the league really needs to kick on because the past couple of years it has been a little stagnant.
"It needed a bit of a reboot and having a new team Western United come in and another next year it will give the game a boost."
In 2018-19, the Jets thumped the Mariners 5-1 in the season open, and went on to win four of the first six to set the tone for the season.
Last season, they recorded the lone victory - a 2-0 triumph against Wanderers - in the same period.
"There are two key periods in the A-League where you have really have to have momentum," Boogaard said.
"One is at the start of the league, where you need to make sure you get points and get on a bit of a run. The other crucial time is around Christmas. They are the two key periods where you have to pick up points.
"It will be vital for us to start the season well. Last season, the draw wasn't favourable - it does make it hard to start the season well when you are not at home.
"This year, we can't use that as an excuse. Apart from two byes in the opening eight rounds, we are home and away consistently.
"There will be a large emphasis on the first game. Hopefully we can go down there and get a good result which will set is up for the coming weeks.
"We need to do similar to what we did last year, sticking to good structures and good plans. I think it will be a close competition. I look across the league and can't see a team who will run away with it. We don't fear anyone. In the preseason we played six A-League teams and the boys took a lot of confidence away from what we did in those games."