EX STUDENTS and Gormandale will again start as the teams to beat when the Traralgon and District Cricket Association season begins on Saturday.
Last year’s grand finalists have both recruited big names in the off-season and appear poised to renew hostilities at the top end of the ladder.
The Sharks will have to do without premiership player Barney Webber, who will take on the captaincy at CATS.
Rovers has been the most active club in the off-season, recruiting more than eight players in a bid to lift the club from the bottom of the table.
The season is set to launch on Saturday and junior cricket begins on Sunday.
Last season: Premiers
Prediction: Top two
Captain: Lee Stockdale
The Sharks enter the season as reigning premier and will want to wipe away the hoodoo that carries; Toongabbie and Churchill both failed to make finals the year after they beat Gormandale in the grand final.
Lee Stockdale will again lead the side after a brilliant year with bat and ball.
Into the side comes Greg Munro from Melbourne.
The Sharks also have recruited a young English player.
Last season: Runner-up
Prediction: Top two
Captain: Travis Switzer
Travis Switzer will lead the side after Adrian Burgiel stepped down to focus on batting.
A big inclusion will be esteemed all-rounder Stuart Anderson from Sale Maffra Cricket Association.
The Tigers will be hoping young Al Jenkin makes an impact in a list which has no losses.
Last season: Third
Captain: Sam Marks
Captain Sam Marks will work with a side which has not lost any players.
Ben Julin will be keen to continue his rise after a breakout year last season.
Last season: Fourth
Captain: Al Campbell
Former Wurruk player Al Campbell, who played with Centrals two seasons ago, will captain in 2013/14.
After playing off in the semi-finals last year Centrals will be keen to continue its rise up the ladder.
Last season: Fifth
Captain: Barney Webber
In a recruiting coup, CATS secured last season’s grand final man of the match Barney Webber from Ex Students.
Webber will take on a CATS outfit fresh from a stellar season of its own.
Sam Farmer has also switched from the Sharks and will lead CATS’ attack.
Last season: Sixth
Captain: John Mayman
With gun allrounder Tom Shippen on deck, the Rams, after a busy offseason, will be hard to beat.
League record holder Steve Nicholls, who scored six tons in the 2010/11 season, returns and star SMCA player Anthony Scott will be a huge addition.
Last season: Seventh
Captain: Brad Knowles
Brad Knowles will lead again and the league’s best cricketer will be hoping his young players can continue their improvement.
Matt Dyke, Alex Lawson and Liam Maynard will all be big improvers.
No recruits named at this stage.
Last season: Eighth
Captain: John Keighran
John Keighran continues his role as captain and the Cobras will rely on him having another great season.
With good numbers at training Churchill hope their young players can continue their improvement and re-established the club as a powerful force.
Last season: Ninth
Captain: Jon Bell
Jon Bell will again lead the Eagles who have announced no new recruits to date.
With young players ready to make the step up the boys from the West will be keen to offer more resistance this year.
Last season: 10th
Captain: Nick Scammell
The Hurricain Devils have lost a couple of players but plan to draw on talented juniors to fill the gap in A grade this season.
Jim Chalmers returns to the club and English recruit Alex Butler will prove useful.
Last season: 11th
Captain: Simon Duff
A busy offseason has seen Rovers recruit more than eight new players.
Peter Ingwersen looks like he will play a number of games and Yarragon fast bowler Todd Mann is certain to have an immediate impact in the TDCA.