Merrivale captain-coach Justin Lynch expects his group to bounce into the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one season with renewed energy and focus.
The Tigers mentor will lead the charge once again in 2022-23 with last season's agonising one-wicket semi-final loss to North Warrnambool Eels still firmly in his mind.
The thrilling Jones Oval clash went down to the wire, with the Eels chasing down 154 off the final ball of the match off the back of Nick Robertson and with one wicket to spare.
Lynch said his group - which finished top-of-the-ladder in the regular season after 10 wins and two losses - would be ready to dig in, do the hard work again and keep improving when training begins shortly.
"Although you lose like that (in the semi), you're really not far away as far as I'm concerned from the ultimate success," he said.
"In the semi-final, there was parts of our game we could have done better for sure, so we'll look to obviously improve on that performance heading into this year.
"We can't just rest on our laurels and assume it's going to happen again, we have to work really hard and just get better and improve our all-round performance in games.
"We certainly had lapses within games last year but I think that goes with one-dayers a little bit to be honest."
Lynch said the Tigers expected to welcome a couple of handy recruits soon, including an overseas top-order batter.
"It's not looking too bad, our recruiting, we're working on a few guys so hopefully in the next week or two we can lock it in," he said.
"We sort of identified a couple of areas we needed to add to, obviously last year we just missed out (by one-wicket) on making a grand final so there's certainly areas you need to improve in within.
"We'll look to add a few players around the fringes and hopefully we'll get an import to strengthen our top-order.
"He's an opening batsman and I felt like that's where we needed to improve the most. It felt like a few times last year we were one down for not many in games so we'll look to strengthen that."
Although you lose like that, you're really not far away as far as I'm concerned from the ultimate success.- Justin Lynch
The Warrnambool and District is set to re-introduce two-day cricket again this season, with one-dayers to be played at the start. Lynch said the Tigers would control what they could control.
"A lot of people might say we'll be better in one-dayers or two-dayers, but at the end of the day I don't think there's so much different," he said. "Good teams will still be good teams regardless of the format."
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