HEPBURN Football Club coach Clive Raak is confident his club has covered the departure of four premiership players.
Star full-forward Lee Cox, midfielder Trevor Johnson, forward Danny Abbott and ruckman Salesi Uhi won't be pulling on the boots for the Burras in 2014.
"It's not ideal to lose players who have won multiple premierships for the club," Raak said.
"They're not easy to replace, but we think we will be fine with the guys we've recruited, plus the young guys we have coming through."
Michael Watt, brother of former North Melbourne key defender Shannon Watt, and Brad Stringer, brother of Western Bulldogs forward Jake Stringer, head the additions for the Burras. Watt will play full-forward, while Stringer, who played with Eaglehawk in the Bendigo Football League in 2013, has the versatility to play through the midfield or across half-back.
"We had 10 or 11 guys under the age of 21 in our premiership side last year and they've all stayed at the club," Raak said, "They've got another big pre-season under their belts and they've bulked up.
"We see this year as a great opportunity to further develop our youth."
Raak expects the standard of the Central Highland Football League to up a level in 2014.
"The competition looks like it's going to be a lot tougher this year," Raak said.
The Burras will play two practice matches in March. They will host Caroline Springs on March 15 before travelling to Springbank on March 22.