Plenty Valley will field a new look line-up it hopes will again put it in the mix for Victorian Sub-district Cricket Association honours.
Just one of the side’s top six batsmen from its grand final team of last season has returned, triggering a raft of changes to the playing group, especially in the batting department.
Bats playing coach Matt Hewat said the changes had re-energised a side that has been towards the top of the ladder for a number of years.
“Daniel Heatley is the only batsmen returning from the grand final,” he said.
“From the bowling attack, Justin Janesch, Simon Black, Sean Ayres and myself have all returned.”
Given the departures, the Bats were keen players in the recruiting process during the off-season.
James Dickinson, who was as Premier club Essendon, has joined the club as its first XI captain.
Hewat said all the new players would bring something different to the team.
“James has come across and really got the guys going,” he said.
“Ashur Morrison is our overseas import and comes from playing at Wiltshire in a minor county side. He’s a batting allrounder.
“Ryan Pearson has come across from Kingston-Hawthorn, while Adam Drinkwell has come from Tasmania.
“He’s splitting his time coaching the women’s side. He’s been fantastic for us.”
Hewat said the likes of James Taylor and Simon Bray were players that would be looking to seal spots in the top side.
Hewat said the new line-up would flow through to the game plan, with a more reserved batting approach.
“We’re back to square one,” he said. “The sky is the limit on what we can achieve this season, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.
“There are a lot of really strong teams … I would say there are 10 to 12 teams good enough to make finals.”
The Bats were due to kick off the season on Saturday in the north-west division, but all games were called off mid-week as too many grounds were not available.
With day one called off, the Bats will face face Hoppers Crossing in a one-dayer.
With their own grounds in good condition, the Bats were ready to hit the field and their top two sides played practice matches against Box Hill.