South Coast are hopeful some of the Western Sydney Wanderers' extraordinary form in their debut A-League season will rub off on the Wolves when the NSW Premier competition starts Saturday.
Three of the South Coast squad for 2013 have seen first hand the red-and-black surge to the top of the ladder on the back of nine consecutive wins.
James Baldacchino, Jack Madgwick and Zac McKenzie have been part of the club's inaugural National Youth League team - under former Wolves coach Trevor Morgan - before returning to Wollongong for kick-off against Sutherland.
South Coast captain Jacob Timpano believes the time spent around full-time professional players like Shinji Ono will help them develop into NSW Premier League stars in their own right.
"Being around the club would have been a great experience for them and I'm sure they've learned a lot," Timpano said.
"They've been coached by Trev and their system is very similar to ours anyway, so they've fitted right back in. Hopefully they'll have a big impact this season."
Timpano and coach Richard Lloyd, who took over last season after Morgan was appointed by the Wanderers, attended the NSWPL season launch yesterday.
Both are optimistic about another charge towards the premiership this season.
Last year the Wolves spent much of the season in second position, before a late slide had them bundled out on the first weekend of the finals.
Following the exit of veteran former A-League striker Sasho Petrovski and Mark Picciolini, Timpano believes South Coast still have the talent to be a contender this year.
The Wolves were winless during a disrupted preseason competition, losing to Sydney Olympic, Sutherland and APIA Leichhardt and scoring just one goal.
Their other two trials, against Central Coast Academy and Sydney United, were abandoned due the wet weather.
However, Timpano declared the Wolves are yet to fire, claiming extra pace in the line-up will be a feature of their play.
"We've added a bit of speed this year," he said.
"It will help us in the way we play."