It has been six months since the sound of bat on ball has ricocheted around Port Lincoln and this weekend will see the return of cricket and the anticipation of another great season.
The off-season has seen a number of changes in the association executive.
After former president Andrew Frick stepped down, the position remained vacant after the AGM, but Tasman Cricket Club life member Ian Beeby has since stepped up into the newly created chairman role.
The association will continue to look for a new president and those who may have some interest are encouraged to speak to secretary Robyn Rowsell.
This year will see the reintroduction of T20 into the B grade program with rounds one, two, nine, 10 and 13 to be played as T20 matches counting toward the main seasons fixture.
In the remaining rounds the B grade will play 40-over cricket (down from 45). These decisions were made after trialling the format last season and clubs and players wanting to see some T20 cricket.
The A grade competition remains untouched with 15 rounds of 50-over cricket.
This season will also see the ‘city' clubs start to take more ownership of an oval and play majority of club matches at these venues when possible, this will be a huge boost for clubs as they look to build identity and home ground advantages.
Charlton and Lincoln South will use Poole Oval, Waybacks will use Ravendale (complex) and Tasmans will use Ravendale (netball).
SOUTHERN EYRE SOUTH
A grade captain: Hamish Rowsell
B grade captain: Troy Dunn
Colts coach: Chris McGown
Players in: Garrin Metcalfe (Darwin), Brodie O'Dea (Pekina), Keegan Blows (Mildura)
Players out: Scott Masterson (Victoria)
Players to watch: Ryan Siebert, Will Charlton
Social events: 300 Club in February,contact Ben Smith
SES are buoyed by the inclusion of Brodie O'Dea from Pekina, a regular guest player over the past couple of seasons and an SA Outbacks representative.
His inclusion and ability with bat and ball will make SES start as premiership favourites.
Keegan Blows, a teacher from Mildura, comes from a strong cricketing family, his sister is Makinley Blows (Vic Spirit, Melbourne Stars) an upcoming star of Australian Women’s Cricket and SES will be hoping they have uncovered another gem.
A grade captain: Brent Harris
B grade captain: Aden Martin
Colts coach: Ben Wilks, Pete Brown, David Clarke
Players in: David Clarke (UK)
Players out: James Fuss (Charlton)
Players to watch: Jace Rodda, Mitch Jude
Social events: Saturday nights at the Chook Shed and Gold Picket evening - date TBA.
After two crushing grand final defeats in the last two seasons the red caps will look to bounce back and have recruited David Clarke, a young opening bowler from Wales. With the likely regular unavailability of Carl Semmler (injury), Nathan Bryant (work) and a finger injury to Andrew Frick the red caps are going to need Clarke to lead the attack with new captain Brent Harris.
Mitch Jude and George Wilks are now full time senior cricketers who will look to make an impact. Come seasons end they should be around the top three if their bowlers can do a job.
A grade captain: Tyson Arthur
B grade captain: David Hope
Colts coach: David Hope
Players in: Nil
Players out: Nil
Players to watch: Tynan Keeley
Tod River finished third last season and again this year will relay heavily on most valuable player runner up, Tyson Arthur, a player who wins matches regularly with bat and ball for his club.
Tynan Keeley opens the batting and bowling and if he can support Arthur with the bat big and quick scores will be had out at Dorward this season.
The River will be hoping Blaze Kaye can recover quickly from his football injuries and play with his usual aggressive style. Tipping Tod River to be 3-5 come finals time.
A grade captain: Luke Yancic
B grade captain: Andy Wilsdon
Colts coach: Darth Westaway
Players in: Andrew Blackberry (Tasmania), James Fuss (Tasmans)
Players out: Jaykob Gooder, Josh Humphries (both travelling)
Players to watch: Stephen Rees, Jack Humphries
Social Events: Woolworths Junior Blast starts October 15 at 4.30pm, Kirton Oval. An hour of fun for children aged five to seven.
A disappointing year for Charlton last season finishing fourth after sitting top two for most of the season.
This year Luke Yancic will take the reins and new players Blackberry and Fuss will be looking to make an impact for their new clubs.
The loss of Jaykob Gooder will be tough to replace but if Jim Stockham is up and about will be a more then handy replacement. Expecting Charlton to bounce back and be a top four side again this season.
A grade captain: Aaron Sincock
B grade captain: Matthew Linn and Aaron Dunchue
Colts coach: Alex Gorton, Craig Reidy, Greg Symonds
Players in: Alex Gorton and Daniel Moriarty (Both UK)
Players out: Nil
Players to watch: Daniel Moriarty
Social events: Friday night raffles at the GT and 10 and 30 year premiership reunions.
After being around the four most of the season Souths finished fifth, the inclusion of Gorton and Moriarty from the UK will significantly boost Souths, both all rounders looking to take Souths back up the ladder.
The rumoured return on a more regular basis of Greg Symonds will also strengthen Souths’ batting line up that has relied too heavily on Craig Reidy the past three seasons.
Brodie Drewitt will benefit from his past seniors experience as he steps out of colts.
Souths will be a lot tougher opponent this season and a predicted finish of 3-5 at the seasons end.
A grade captain: Billy Campbell
B grade captain: Darren Atkins
Colts coach: Brenton Hammond, Peter Kleinig
Players in: Mitchell Barnes (Great Flinders), Brody Burrows
Players out: Nil
Players to watch: Sam Clark
Social events: Backward draw in February
Finishing sixth last season is a position this club is not used to.
Kerry O'Leary steps down from the captaincy and hard-hitting opening batter Billy Campbell will take over the captaincy.
The inclusion of Barnes and Burrows is welcoming and the emergence of Sam Clark will also be interesting to watch as he makes the transition from colts. A couple of (retired) older heads are tipped to help Campbell with the captaincy throughout the season.
A finish of 4-6 would be around the mark this season.