AFTER a long off season, cricket resumes on Saturday for the Heathcote Cricket Club.
Having won the Northern United Cricket Association premiership in the 2017/18 season, Heathcote saw a slight drop off in 2018/19 and will be looking to return to previous heights this year.
Club stalwart Ben Harris said Heathcote was excited to be returning to the pitch for the new year of action.
“We are really excited for what this year has to offer,” he said.
“We've got a few new players who are coming in the doors for the season, the team will have a new look about them, but we will also have a lot of guys who have been around the club for a few years continuing on.”
It will be a new look lineup not only for the Saints this season, but for the entire competition this season, with clubs Raywood and Dingee both departing the NUCA this season.
It will leave just six teams competing for the premiership.
“It's obviously pretty disappointing,” Harris said.
“You never want to see teams drop out of a competition, we all want to see cricket remain pretty healthy through the region, so losing two teams is very unfortunate.
“It also means for the rest of the competition that we will be playing in a shortened season, which is obviously not what any of us wanted. We would love to play as much cricket as we possibly can throughout the season, so seeing the year reduced is a really unfortunate result for us.”
But the season will go on none the less, and the Saints will begin this weekend against local rivals Colbinabbin.
It will be the first meeting of the two sides, and will see the Saints hit the road.
Harris said the team was well prepared for the contest.
“It's the opening game, so we are feeling pretty good about it,” he said.
“We've had some pretty strong sessions of training already, so there is a good feeling around what we are capable of this year.
“But we aren't going over the top with how we take the game on. It's a pretty relaxed league, we are just hoping to see some success and enjoy our cricket for the season.”