The Atlantic University Sport men’s soccer champions are hoping to pick up where they left off last fall.

The Dalhousie Tigers enter a new season this weekend with very few departures from a club that went from worst to first en route to its first AUS crown in almost a decade.

“We’ve improved our team,” said Dalhousie’s Pat Nearing, last season’s AUS coach of the year. “We’ve basically created a lot more depth on our roster. Any one of our 22 players could start and I don’t think we’d miss a beat.”

Although fifth-year captain John Ballantyne has moved on, the Tigers will benefit from the return of playoff MVP Ben Ur in goal, reigning AUS rookie of the year Kerry Weymann on defence, and all-Canadian Ross Hagen at midfield.

Hagen, along with veteran returnee Chris Haughan, provide one of the Tigers’ biggest strengths at midfield.

“They really create a great anchor for the team,” Nearing said.