CAPTAIN: Cory Jacobs.
LAST SEASON: 2nd – 9-4-2.
ARRIVALS: Zac East, Ryan Hon.
DEPARTURES: Jason Abbott, Shaun Knott.
The pain of last year’s grand final defeat will act as a major spur for Eaglehawk as the club attempts to win its first flag since 2006.
The Hawks had one hand on the premiership shield last season, but a late batting collapse (4-13) saw them fall just seven runs short of Strathdale.
They needed to stiffen up their brittle batting line-up and they’ve added some class and scoring power to their middle-order by the arrival of Zac East and Ryan Hon.
East’s return to the club on a full-time basis is a major plus, while Hon has big wraps as a batsman-keeper.
The crucial departure for the Hawks is opening bowler Shaun Knott – the premier paceman in the competition last year.
The Hawks have plenty of bowling options, with leg-spinner Brodie Hawke and medium-pacers Aaron Monro and Cam McGlashan to get more responsibility with the ball. However, Knott’s absence means the Hawks are less likely to blast teams out.
Eaglehawk will push Strathdale for flag favouritism. The extra depth with the bat and the club’s favourable draw means anything less than a top-two finish would be seen as a failure.