Russells Creek captain-coach Cam Williams says it is "fresh and exciting" to start the division one season with a string of hungry and determined new players.
The Creekers, coming off a division one grand final loss in 2022-23 and four premierships in six seasons, begin their Warrnambool and District Cricket campaign on Saturday, October 7 against Wesley Yambuk.
But after a well-documented departure of up to six or seven premiership champions through the off-season, as well as the unavailability of the likes of Jeremy Kiensrod, Adam Doak, Tim Ryan, Rukshan Weerasinghe and recruit James Anderson for the opening round this weekend, expect a new-look outfit to take to the park.
Williams said it was a big opportunity for some of the club's youngsters and division two premiership players to take their chance at division one level.
"That's what happens sometimes when you have so much turnover of players," he said. "We'll be right though, we've got enough talent there to be really competitive.
"The two Barnes boys (Ryan and Harrison) have been playing a bit of footy but Ryan will slot in nicely.
"We've got a strong enough list of 12 to take home four or six points this week. We might give a few other younger players an opportunity as well so we'll see."
He said after last year's unprecedented washouts, which saw little to no cricket played in the opening two months of the season, it was just pleasing to have cricket return.
"We haven't had any practice matches or anything like that, just through the nets and fielding drills but it's going to be good to get out onto the park and just play some cricket," he said.
"Like most clubs the season has definitely come up quick. All of a sudden footy season is over and cricket starts this week but we're ready to go."
The Warrnambool and District star said recruit Hamish Huffadine was looking good in the nets and would open the batting while he expected several players who played in the division two flag last year to make a case for selection.
"We've got some players absolutely chomping at the bit for a chance," he said.
"Some guys have had big pre-seasons so I've got no complaints. I think as a club it's fresh and exciting.
"As an old leader it's good to see. It's good for the team and it's good for the club."
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