Melbourne City might not have added to their A-League squad with such eye-catching signings as cross-city rivals Melbourne Victory.
But they will go into next Saturday's derby in a buoyant mood after a comfortable win in their last pre-season game and under the leadership of a new captain in Scott Jamieson.
City have also brought in cover for their Scottish winger Michael O'Halloran, who has sustained an injury, with the signing on a short-term injury replacement contract of Kearyn Baccus.
Now coming into their fifth season under Manchester City's ownership, the pressure is on coach Warren Joyce to add to the club's sole piece of silverware, the FFA Cup title won under John van 't Schip in 2016.
City lost their chance to win this season's Cup when they crashed out at home in the quarter-final against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
It will have been scant consolation that they saw off the same opponent by a comfortable 4-1 scoreline on Friday in Shepparaton in their final seasonal lead-up, but Joyce's men will at least know they will come into Saturday night's clash in fine form and with a range of goalscorers: their strikes against the Wanderers came from defender Harrison Delbridge, French import Florin Berenguer, former Socceroo Dario Vidosic and former Newcastle attacking midfielder Riley McGree.
Jamieson takes the armband for the new season, having joined the club in 2017.
“Being named captain is an honour and I look forward to leading out such a talented bunch of players. I’m confident that we make our fans proud this season and if I can be the first Melbourne City captain to lift the title, it’ll be very special.”
Baccus previously played for the Wanderers, where he spent four years and played 74 matches.
“Michael O’Halloran has been training well so losing him to injury is unfortunate, but we’ve secured a quality replacement in Kearyn Baccus,” said Warren Joyce.
“Kearyn will add quality and brings a wealth of experience to the squad, helping to maintain the current tough competition for places.”
Baccus said: “I’m excited to have a fresh opportunity at Melbourne City and will be doing all I can to support the team over these next few months.''
Michael Lynch, The Age's expert on soccer, has had extensive experience of high level journalism in the UK and Australia. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns. He has also reported on Grands Prix and top class motor sport from Asia and Europe. He has won several national media awards for both sports and industry journalism.