For two straight years University have fallen one win short of an Illawarra Rugby Union grand final berth.
This year, they're determined to break through and play in the biggest game of the season.
The Bulls are under no illusions, however, about how much work needs to be done throughout the next six months to ensure they feature at WIN Stadium on September 14, starting with their round one clash against 2018 grand finalists Avondale.
"Last two years we've lost in that preliminary final," new coach Shaun McCreedy said. "Both years we've limped into those finals, with personnel missing and we weren't able to play our best.
"A lot goes into winning a premiership, one of the key things is staying healthy, we haven't been at the back end of the last two years. Hopefully we can address that and a couple of the young boys who have had to step up can take their game and this team to the next level."
University will start the season on the back foot after the off-season retirement of club legend Paul Tuala and with a number of players still to return from serious injuries suffered in 2018.
A premiership-winning captain, Tuala was forced to retire after doctors discovered a heart condition while treating a leg infection.
McCreedy said Tuala's absence is a huge blow for his team, but he's looking forward to watching Uni's young forwards step up throughout the season.
"Paul's a massive loss. He's quite devastated, he was hoping to reach 100 first grade games this year and to have his career suddenly stop is a shock to the system. It's a massive void for us to try and fill.
"A few boys will have to step up in the back row. Takunda Chimwaza is an Illawarra and Country player, he'll have to become a leader in the back row."
Uni face a tough start to the season, with Avondale this weekend and a trip to Bowral in week three. For McCreedy the goal is to build throughout the season as they welcome back their top players.
"The draw hasn't done us any favours, with Avondale week one and Bowral week three. They'll be stern tests for our new-look side and give us an indication of how much work we need to do for the rest of the season.
"This weekend I just want plenty of enthusiasm, make sure we don't quit and give ourselves an opportunity to win at the 80th minute.
"We'll have to play at our tempo, which is a fast tempo, and defensively we need to make our one-on-one tackles.
"They're a big team, once they get their tails up, they're hard to stop. If we're not up for it physically, it'll be a long day for the group."
University's clash with Avondale isn't the only high-quality match set for the opening round of Illawarra Rugby Union.
Defending premiers Bowral will open their campaign with a road trip to Wollongong to face the Tech Tahs. Now coached by Tim Olsen, the Tahs are looking to build on a promising 2018.
Bowral have experienced change of their own this off-season, with coach Gene Fairbanks stepping aside and halfback Tim Small taking on the role of captain-coach.
Fierce rivals Vikings and Shamrocks will do battle at Viking Rugby Ground, with Shamrocks looking to kick off their 50th season with a victory.
Kiama will travel up to Camden as they look to improve on a tough 2018.
Campbelltown will embark on their longest road trip of the year on Saturday, making the trek down to Shoalhaven to take on the Shoals at Shoalhaven Rugby Ground.
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