MCDFL - Navarre's season begins tomorrow night at Princes Park under lights against Carisbrook and coach Daniel Parkin says his side faces a big task as they try to exact revenge against last year's premiers.
"It's hard enough playing them during the day but then to play them on their home turf under lights. They have that home ground advantage ten fold," Parkin said.
It is set to be a new experience for the Grasshoppers, with many players having not played a match under lights before.
Another first for the team will be playing against an AFL great in former Carlton captain and premiership player, Anthony Koutoufides.
Parkin said that Koutoufides played a match in Geelong last week, but was unsure whether he was in the forward line or midfield. However, 'Kouta' still managed to boot five goals.
Should Koutoufides play in the forward line, the task of curbing his influence on the game will rest on Navarre youngster Jayden Fowkes.
"'Fowkesy' is going to have a crack at him. It will be good work experience," Parkin said.
"Playing on an AFL great such as Kouta - what more could an 18 year old want?"
Parkin believes tomorrow night's match in Maryborough will be an old fashioned shootout.
"It'll be two quality teams going head to head," Parkin said.
"Both teams after 10-15 minutes will start to feel tired in the legs and in the third and fourth quarters it will come down to determination and who wants it more.
"I don't think it's going to be pretty after half time."
Navarre will still be smarting following an 18 point loss to the Redbacks in the 2012 grand final.
While Carisbrook have lost an estimated five to six players from their grand final side, they have picked up a couple of players including Matt Bilton, who is a handy midfielder from the Ballarat League.
However, it is also a new season for Navarre, who have picked up a few players of their own including defenders Brent Flood and Luke Hendy as well the welcoming the return of forward Zane Bigmore.
"We have a more even spread all over the field this year and we all know how Carisbrook play," Parkin said.
"The last couple of times we have played them, it has come down to that 15 minutes in a quarter that gets the game going either way."
Missing from tomorrow night's clash will be Jesse Hannett (Stawell) and Jeremy Harrington (injured hand), while defender Daniel Fitzell has yet to decide if he wants to play for Navarre this season.
In a blow for Navarre, defender Sam Robertson is recovering from a hip injury and will be out for up to 10 weeks.
He will be running the Grasshoppers bench, helping out Parkin and his assistant coach Brent Flood.
Parkin is looking forward to getting the Grasshoppers season underway.
"I am more excited to play round one against Carisbrook and try to get revenge on them," he said.
"Also playing on an AFL great like Kouta gives us more motivation.
"It's going to be a different experience."