Illawarra Cutters captain Michael Lett can't wait for their first game of the 2013 NSW Cup season to kick off against premiers Newtown Jets at WIN Stadium today.
Lett will skipper the Cutters for the first time and is looking forward to leading the side. He said playing the premiers would be an exciting challenge.
Last year the Jets won all three games including two close contests at the back end of the season, the first by one point at Henson Park to scrape into the finals and then again in the finals at WIN Jubilee Oval, which eliminated Illawarra, paving the way for the Jets to move to the grand final, which they ultimately won.
"There's not a better way to start than to play the top dogs from last year," Lett said. "It's exciting times.
"We trained all off season, pre-season and to get into the first game will be sweet.
"With the team that we've got on the field, it'll be pretty exciting.
"Right across the board there's a lot of first graders and ex-first graders. It's good on paper but we've got to do it on the field on Saturday."
Cutters coach Paul McGregor will stress the importance of maintaining game structure today.
"I think it's very important that we play the way we train. The hardest thing about this time of the year is we've got a lot of new faces first time around," McGregor said.
"But if we can stay within our game structure, complete at a high completion rate, don't push the ball too much early and get through our sets, play football at their end not our end, it'll go a long way towards us winning.
"The side we're putting out there on Saturday is a capable side.
"We've just got to have the right energy and intensity to go out there and prove to everyone that we're the real deal.
"And we've got to make a statement to everyone."