THE race to become country Victoria's leading goalkicker has begun with a bang.
While most country competitions are yet to get under way, four players in early-starting leagues have already hit double figures and are in pursuit of the magical ton.
The clubhouse leader with 11 goals is Catani's Owen Fitzpatrick, who starred in the Blues' big win against Longwarry in the Ellinbank and District league.
Hot on his heels is Thurgoona's Thomas Stead, who bagged 10 majors in Round 1 of the Tallangatta and District league.
But Stead may feel he's missed an opportunity, considering the Bulldogs piled on 39 goals in their 202-point annihilation of the Wodonga Saints.
Golden Square spearhead Grant Weeks also nailed 10 to open the season, leading his side to a big win against Eaglehawk in the Bendigo league.
Sharing second place with a bag of 10 goals is Michael Santo, who was best on ground as the Warragul Industrials thumped Poowong by 122 points in the Ellinbank league's opening round on Saturday.
Last season's goalkicking champion Gavin Kelm could only manage two sausage rolls for Taylors Lake in the Horsham and District league.
Kelm kicked a whopping 144 goals last season, but might struggle to reach similar heights in 2012, with more time in the Lakers' midfield predicted.
Kilcunda-Bass's key forward Luke James was also kept quiet in Round 1.
James, one of the first players to raise the bat with 100 majors last season, kicked just one major in the Panthers' triumph against Foster in the Alberton Football League.
Tarrawingee's Daniel Barassi, the grandson of a cousin of AFL legend Ron Barassi, booted eight goals for the Bulldogs in their Ovens and King league clash against Goorambat.