REIGNING West Wimmera Cricket Association champion Rainbow will start its premiership defence with a round-one match against neighbour Jeparit at Rainbow Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Rainbow looks like it will once again be the team to beat after retaining all of its grand final-winning squad, with senior player Brett Jensz hoping to get a few more games out of all-rounder Ash Clugston.
Jensz said his side would go into the opening round quietly confident, but would not be taking Jeparit lightly.
“They’ve always got a good side,” he said.
“All-rounder Mick Preston is one to look out for and opening batsman Adrian King is someone we’ve got to get out early.”
Jensz is expecting big seasons out of emerging brothers Nathan and Jacob Cocks, who gained plenty of experience from last season’s successes.
King admitted it had been a low-key preparation heading into the new season, with the club’s first official training session last night.
But the classy left-hander expected Rainbow to once again be dangerous in 2013-14.
“They’ve got plenty of match-winners in their side like Heath Clugston. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of side they get on the park,” he said.
“Hopefully our younger blokes can step up again and improve a bit more.”
Jeparit was knocked out by Rainbow in last year’s semi-finals and will be seeking revenge.
Nhill hosts Winiam in the corresponding fixture at Davis Park, while last year’s grand finalist Kiata has the bye.
The Highwaymen will be without captain Nathan Alexander this season, with the talented all-rounder cleared to play in the Grampians league.
It will be a 10-round competition this season, split into five two-day and five one-day matches.
The semi-finals will be played on March 1 and 2, with the grand final on March 8 and 9.