Oxfords coach Thea O'Sullivan said her three-time defending champions will step into the unknown on Saturday when their Newcastle women's premier league hockey season begins against Central (3pm) at Broadmeadow.
O'Sullivan has lost six players from last season's grand final win. Gun keeper Jess Parr, key playmaker Dana Constable, Kim Tuckwell, Katie Southgate and Ali Hosgood are not playing, while Ash Ninness has joined Central.
"It's going to be a bit of a rebuilding year," O'Sullivan said. "And we haven't been able to train because we haven't been able to get turf time, which has made it really difficult.
"Tomorrow is really an unknown for us and Central are a really strong team with a number of new players."
Central Coast's Emma Herford, 18, takes over in goals from Parr, who is focusing on the Sydney competition. Former Sydneysider Maggie Stanley has also joined Oxfords.
Uni play Regals (4.15pm) and Tigers meet Gosford (5.30pm) in the other games.
In the men's Hunter Coast premier league on Sunday, Norths play Wests (12.30pm) and Souths meet Uni (2pm) at Broadmeadow. Maitland host Gosford (3pm) in the other round-three match.