Mt Barker’s pre-season is building nicely according to coach Brad Hook, as teams enter the final month of preparations ahead of the 2020 Great Southern Football League season. With 18 days until bouncedown in this year’s league competition, the Bulls numbers at training have been strong as they look to cover the loss of several key senior figures. Travelling contingent Adam Tissott, Daniel Henderson, Tyson Sujdovic, Nic Chidgzey, Kym Monteath and Leigh Conway will not play for the Bulls this season. Henderson and Tissott both finished in the top five of the Bulls best and fairest last year. The Bulls have had good success with their strong travelling group over the past few years but only John Lee will remain in 2020. However, the Bulls prospects this year will be buoyed by the recruitment of Sharks trio Bryce Blaszkow, Dylan Gowdie and Mitch Jackson while Marcus Mellon has also been picked up. Blaszkow was the Sharks vice-captain in 2019, and Gowdie and Jackson will fill key defensive posts at their new home. The Bulls will play Royals in a practice match this Saturday and Hook said his squad were shaping up well despite the omission of their travellers. “All the Perth boys are out and that was always going to happen,” Hook said. “We’ve needed those blokes and they’ve been fantastic for us but we’ve spent a lot of money in the last few years as well. “We have a good bunch of locals at the moment and we are going to invest in them. “We also have been lucky enough to recruit a few out of Albany and that’s what we have to do going forward to survive.” Hook said his players were itching for the season to start. “Before COVID hit we were up and about,” he said. “It was our best pre-season in years and then the world got turned upside down. “Our numbers will be pretty similar to last year. “Mt Barker has to play footy, we can’t afford to have a season off. “If we did have a year off it would cripple our club. “Both our pre-seasons have been really good.” The Bulls have also lost last season’s Sean Plaisted trophy winner Dionne Woods, who has transferred to Denmark-Walpole, after he booted 42 goals as the competition’s best goalkicker in 2019.