The 2013-14 BDCA season begins on Saturday with a one-day round of matches from noon. Who will start their campaign with a win?
KANGAROO FLAT v GOLDEN SQUARE - Dower Park.
Kangaroo Flat - Kangaroo Flat will field a similar team to last season.
The experience will be provided by captain Adam Burns, all-rounder Tim Robertson, warhorse Brad Orton and Liam Jones.
The rest of the side will be made up of the younger brigade, led by Brent Hamblin, brothers Daniel and Chris Barber, Lachlan Shelton, Josh Newlan and Jake Klemm.
Haven’t played finals since 2007-08, but will be aiming to build on last season’s late form when they won four of their last seven games.
Prediction – 6th.
Golden Square - Last season’s beaten semi-finalist Golden Square has a new skipper at the helm in Tim Wood.
Top-order batsman Wood has crossed from Strathfieldsaye, while Square has also picked up ex-Jets’ all-rounder Liam Smith to bolster the team.
The pace bowling stocks have taken a hit early with James Pietromonaco not playing until after Christmas and Darren Clutton out through October.
Apart from the early bowling issues, the core of last season remains intact and Square should contend again.
Prediction – 3rd.
SANDHURST v EAGLEHAWK - Weeroona Oval
Sandhurst - The Dragons pulled off one of the recruiting coups of the off-season with the signature of Craig Howard as the new captain-coach.
There will be plenty of experience in the Dragons’ side, led by Howard, Leon Beatty, Andrew Sheehan, Nick Scullie and Shane Robinson.
There’s also some good young players coming through, with teenage leg-spinner Liam Bowe a player to keep an eye on, plus Isaac Conway.
Key outs include Quinton Bentley, Dylan Gibson and Andrew Bourne.
Prediction – 7th.
Eaglehawk - The Hawks enter the season aiming to go one better than last summer when they were beaten by Strathdale in the grand final.
The only departure from the grand final team is X-factor paceman Richard Tibbett, who is having a crack with Premier Cricket club Richmond.
Coming into the side is former White Hills’ captain Aaron Monro, who will help cover the loss of Tibbett.
The Hawks – under captain Jason Abbott – should again be around the mark come the business end.
Prediction - 4th.
STRATHFIELDSAYE v BENDIGO - Tannery Lane.
Strathfieldsaye - It shapes as a very challenging year for the Jets, who have suffered the loss of three key players.
Ben Gunn, Liam Smith and Tim Wood have all left for rival clubs, while there is doubt over Andrew Stove, which leaves a massive hole at the Jets.
Veteran Greg Lyon assumes the reins as captain, while former skipper Ben Devanny and Justin Hargreaves also provide experience.
Recruits include batsman David Farley from Heathcote and leg-spinner Neil Johnson. Tough year ahead.
Prediction – 10th.
Bendigo - Mark Ryan takes on the captaincy duties following the departure of Marcus McKern.
Ryan will be in charge of what will be another young Bendigo side as the Goers continue to go down the youth path.
There will most likely be some more pain this season following last summer’s three wins, as well as two ties, but it’s all about building for the future with the likes of young gun Alex Pearson, Nathan Fitzpatrick, Mitchell Blackman and co.
Prediction – 9th.
WHITE HILLS v HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM - Scott Street.
White Hills - The Demons claimed the wooden-spoon last season, but new captain Daniel Larke is confident his side can significantly improve.
The two outs are ex-skipper Aaron Monro and David Blume.
However, the Demons have gone abroad in their recruiting with the signing of three Englishmen.
Those from England are Gareth Davies (batsman), Jack Hebron (batsman) and Jake Foley (leg-spinner), while opening bowler Paul Mckenzie has also joined the Demons.
Prediction – 8th.
Huntly-North Epsom - Quentin Bentley has crossed from Sandhurst to take on the coaching role.
Also joining the Power from the Dragons are batsman Dylan Gibson and bowler Thomas Wilson.
The signing of Bentley will help ease the bowling workload on gun all-rounder Sam Johnston.
The Power have also added ex-White Hills batsman Michael Hanson.
Spinner Nick Roebuck has left for rivals Strathdale, while last year’s BDCA leading run-scorer, Ryan Grundy, faces an interrupted season.
Prediction - 5th.
STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS v BENDIGO UNITED - Bell Oval.
Strathdale-Maristians - enters the season as the three-time defending premiers.
So dominant were the Suns last season, they didn't drop a game.
There has been some movement from the premiership team, with all-rounders Craig Howard (Sandhurst) and Dom Taylor (Queensland) and opening bowler Braden Hocking (Geelong) no longer at the club.
No.3 batsman Jono Davidson is recovering from a knee injury and may not play until after Christmas, while bowler Jaran McKay isn't playing this season.
Coming into the squad is ex-Huntly left-arm orthodox spinner Nick Roebuck, who will help cover the spinning loss of Howard, while young bowler Dylan Baillie will get a first XI opportunity.
The Suns have also recruited two Englishmen in Blair Marshall (batsman) and Daniel Rushworth (left-arm bowler).
Prediction - 1st.
Bendigo United - a couple of big names have been added to the batting department in Ben Gunn and Bryan Vance.
Gunn joins the Redbacks having spent the past five years at Strathfieldsaye, while Vance has previous Premier Cricket experience.
A batting line-up with Gunn, Vance, Heath Behrens, Matt Pinniger and captain Leigh McDermott will provide plenty of entertainment throughout the season.
Veteran all-rounder Nick Crawford is playing on, while the bowling will again be spearheaded by new coach Marcus Smalley and Miggy Podosky.
Prediction - 2nd
ADDY ROUND 1 TIPSTERS:
ADAM BOURKE: Strathdale-Maristians, Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, Huntly-North Epsom.
LUKE WEST: Strathdale-Maristians, Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, Huntly-North Epsom.
NATHAN DOLE: Bendigo United, Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, White Hills.
ROUND 1 TEAMS:
KANGAROO FLAT - A. Burns (c), T. Robertson, L. Shelton, J. Klemm, J. Newlan, D. Barber, T. Hinds, B. Orton, B. Hamblin, C. Barber, L. Jones, N. Healy (12th).
GOLDEN SQUARE - T. Wood (c), M. Grant, G. Connelly, S. Johnson, J. Johnson, M. Christie, L. Smith, J. Bysouth, S. Woodman, L. Baird, C. Tibbett, J. Burke (12th).
SANDHURST - C. Howard (c), S. Robinson, N. Scullie, I. Conway, L. Beattie, S. Becker, A. Sheehan, A. McGauchie, E. Bowe, L. Bowe, N. Slater.
EAGLEHAWK - J. Abbott (c), C. Jacobs, N. O’Neill, M. Fitt, A. Smith, M. White, A. West, A. Monro, C. McGlashan, T. Brown, S. Taylor, D. Schenck (12th).
STRATHFIELDSAYE - G. Lyon (c), B. Hargreaves, C. Devanny, B. Devanny, D. Farley, H. Schumacher, J. Stubbs, X. Crone, L. Walker, J. Hargreaves, N. Johnson.
BENDIGO - M. Ryan (c), B. Andrews, C. Pearce, M. Blackman, A. Pearson, N. Fitzpatrick, L. Gaskell, S. Dole, J. Mortimer, R. Trickey, R. Glen, D. Strauss (12th).
WHITE HILLS - D. Larke (c), G. Roulston, T. Colley, A. Holland, J. Foley, R. Irwin, J. Logan, G. Davies, S. Stagg, B. Stepien, J. Hebron.
HUNTLY NORTH EPSOM - L. McRae (c), M. Hanson, B. McRae, D. Gibson, H. Whittle, S. Johnston, A. Tanner, B. Elvey, Q. Bentley, T. Wilson, C. Russell.
STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS - L. Jacobs (c), C. Taylor, N. Baker, B. DeAraguo, R. Haythorpe, J. DeAraugo, N. Roebuck, M. Thomas, T. King, D. Baillie, A. Pappin.
BENDIGO UNITED - L. McDermott (c), M. Smalley, M. Podosky, M. Pinniger, H. Donegan, H. Behrens, B. Gunn, N. Crawford, A. Sutton, A. Culvenor, C. Tuohey.