Melton Centrals hope to have a more stable line up as they plan their campaign to rise up the Victorian Turf Cricket Association ranks.
It was a tough season for the Centrals last season, they finished seventh in what is now known as the Russell Pollock Shield division 5.
Captain-coach Adam Hulett said things didn’t go right for them last season.
Their top three sides all missed out on finals.
“We had a lot of unavailability at the wrong time,” he said.
“We dropped a lot of games when we were in good positions but we couldn’t get over the line.
“Hopefully this season we’ll have every team in finals.”
Hulett said it had been a strong preseason with plenty of players returning to the club and numbers had been strong at training.
He said suitable weather had meant they had got some good training sessions in.
Hulett said the biggest improvement for the club would be increased depth.
“We’ve pretty much kept everyone,” he said. “We’ve started to get everyone flowing in from hockey, football and basketball.
“We’ve had a couple of players join us from Sri Lanka as well.”
It will be the first time Centrals have had imports.
They have recruited two Sri Lankan players, a top-order bat who can bowl off spin and a middle order batsman who also bowls spin.
Hulett said the decision to recruit imports was motivated by a desire to try something different.
“It’s all been covered by sponsors,” he said.
“It’ll boost the club up a bit and give us a bit more experience.
“It’s something new and a little bit of trial and error. Hopefully it works and something we’ll look more to in the future.”
With the two recruits in the top side, it will mean more pressure for spots, which Hulett said was good for the club.
“There’s a little more depth, so it should filter through the grades.”
With changes to the VTCA structure, Hulett said they would face several different teams this season. Centrals will again be in the Russell Pollock Shield competition.
“I think there has been four teams that have changed in and four that have changed out.
“They’ll be new teams to play against, whether it’s a good or bad thing we’re not sure yet.”
Centrals start their season on Saturday against Melton South Royals.
In the Charles Clark Shield Division 4, Caroline Springs hosts East Coburg and Sydenham-Hillside will play Sunshine YCW.