Perth Glory captain Diego Castro believes an injection of fresh legs will help them prove the doubters wrong this A-League season.
Glory were the dominant team last campaign, with the star-studded squad winning the Premiers Plate with two rounds to spare.
Yet they were denied the double when they lost to Sydney FC on penalties in the grand final and the exit of proven performers Jason Davidson, Matthew Spiranovic, Shane Lowry and Andy Keogh has left some wondering whether they now have the talent to go one step further.
Glory are rated third favourites for the title in most betting markets, behind Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.
Recruits James Meredith, Bruno Fornaroli and Osama Malik are proven performers but the jury is out on fellow newcomers Dane Ingham, Jacob Tratt, Kim Soo-Beom and Nick D'Agostino.
Castro is optimistic.
"Maybe people doubt about what is this year or what Perth Glory looks like. I'm confident," he said. "I'm looking to improve what we did last year.
"The players that have left have left a legacy. We will never forget that but I like it when you have a team with big potential.
"We need those fresh legs, we need that motivation. They come to training with all the motivation, which is fantastic."
Glory begin their season at home on Sunday against a new-look Brisbane Roar coached by former Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who also spent a season playing at Glory in 2010/11.
Perth owner Tony Sage has a trick up his sleeve to distract Fowler ahead of the clash.
He joked: "We're still friends. I'll take him out for a beer on Friday night, hopefully get him drunk, and he probably won't turn up on Sunday."