Courtesy of the Mackay Daily Mercury - by Chris Lees

Wests are pushing their younger players this year to help them take the extra step to win the premiership.

Last year, the side came close, losing in a tough final to Souths 36-30.

Coach Mick Baker said last season they had a lot of success with younger players coming into the senior team.

"We're really excited about some of the young kids that we have at our club," he said.

Nineteen-year-old Blake Atherton was one of many young players Baker singled out as being important to their season.

Atherton had a great year in 2014, playing the full 80 minutes of every game for Wests on their march to the finals. The young man said the young players at the club were really impressive.

"Mick is making the transition really smooth for the young guys coming into the seniors," Atherton said.

Baker said the club was on par with where they were at the same time as last year.

A key to last year's run to the grand final was Jardine Bobongie.

There was talk Bobongie was going to retire from the game but Baker quashed that and said the star had been training with the Cutters.

"He's actually done the pre-season with the Cutters to get himself back to the fitness he thinks he needs to be at, which is really good," Baker said.

"He'll be back with Wests at this stage, obviously if his services are required with the Cutters, I'm sure that a guy of his talent is more than welcome there."

Despite falling agonisingly short last season, Baker said it had been a successful year and he was hoping for a good 2015.

"A lot of clubs have worked really hard in getting guys to Mackay and improving their club," he said.

"If we don't improve then we're going to get left behind. That's our challenge, to maintain our desire to continue to improve."