HEYTESBURY Rebels are no longer the new kids on the block.
Rebels captain Travis Brown said with Simpson and Woorndoo stepping up to South West Cricket’s top grade this season it was time for his fledgling side to aim higher.
Heytesbury Rebels start their 2013-14 campaign against league powerhouse Terang at Timboon today.
“We’re in our third year so we want to push for finals,” Brown said.
“We were so green the first two years and now have a bit more experience and are more level-headed and know what to expect.”
Brown said vice-captain Jeff Rosolin and Tom Hunt, who both do contract farm work, had committed to cricket this season, bolstering the Rebels’ division one side.
“They are top-order bats,” he said. “We’ve got pretty much the same side. We are sticking with the same group, we have a fair bit of talent.”
Along with Rosolin and Hunt, Brown expects spin bowler Chris Dendle to “step up and take a heap of wickets this year”.
Brown said Terang would give Heytesbury Rebels a good gauge of where they were placed early.
“It will be a tough battle like usual,” he said.
Terang captain-coach Ben Grinter returned from England two weeks ago.
Grinter played first XI cricket for Mobberley.
“I had a fairly decent season. I got 760 runs and took over 20 wickets,” Grinter said. “I loved it, absolutely loved it.”
Grinter said Terang, which has lost former captain Jay Wynd to Nirranda and Sam Munro to an overseas holiday, would take time to build form and momentum.
“From my point of view we are a bit depleted this week. We have a few unavailable,” he said.
“This season we are looking to finish top four but if we don’t my aim as captain-coach is to try and develop young blokes who have played senior cricket the past two years but haven’t quite come on.”
Grinter said Mortlake and Pomborneit were the teams to beat this season.
In other matches, reigning premier Mortlake travels to play newcomer Simpson, Pomborneit hosts Bookaar, Woorndoo meets Boorcan, and Cobden hosts Noorat.