Plenty Valley knows it won’t fly under the radar like the last few seasons in Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket.
The Bats played finals last season for the first time since 2010-11 and with the core group returning, will look to make it two in a row.
Bats coach Adam Drinkwell said the experience of last season of playing finals would really help the group.
“We’re getting a really good group of core players,” he said.
“We may have flown under the radar a bit. I think they will be a bit more weary and respectful.
“We’ve got more resources, more coaching for the group and we think they’re being given best opportunity to play good cricket.
“We need to keep getting better, other clubs are getting better.
Drinkwell said they had been training since late July, with good numbers across the board.
Most of the first XI had returned, with most of the changes this season in the second and third XIs, with a few retirements.
Drinkwell said the development of existing players is what they were looking at to take them to the next step.
“We’ll see more of Rhiann [O’Donnell]. She doesn’t have a WBBL contract, but she could be a late signing.
“Sophie Day has had a winter in England and should come on again. Sophie Reid is back from surgery and she should be right for round one.
“Jasmine Nevins will have a big role with both the bat and ball.”
England’s Beth Harvey has joined the Bats and will replace Providence Cowdrill.
Harvey has played 11 first XI games for Sussex in the County Championship. Harvey, who is expected to arrive this week, is an off spinner, who bats
in the middle order.
The wildcard for the Bats is star fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck.
Drinkwell said they didn’t expect to see much of the Australian player. Vlaeminck took one wicket in the Aussies win against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
“With her [Hobart] Hurricanes and Australian commitments, it will be a bonus to have her play.”
The Bats’ season gets under way on October 6, with a double-header.
They face Dandenong in two T20s on the same day.
Drinkwell said there had been a focus on getting more cricket into the girls this season.
“We’re up to 27 games this season, up from 21 last year,” he said.
“We’ve got five double headers and then some midweek T20s.
“If you make it through to finals, you’ll be playing over 30 games of cricket.”