Defending champions Kookas are readying for a tough title defence as the South Coast cricket competition moves from seven teams to six.
The loss of Kiama leaves just five teams with a chance to knock off the defending champions in all three forms of the game, however captain Craig Bramble says the competition will remain a hotly contested affair.
“It’s going to be quite tough.” Bramble said. “All of the teams have recruited pretty well, so I think it will actually be quite an even competition this year.
“We won’t approach our cricket any differently, we’ll just go out and try to play as a bunch of mates and try to play hard and if we win, great, if we don’t, it’s all good.”
The Kookas will open the season against Oak Flats and Bramble is weary of his side being caught off guard.
“Oak Flats are always competitive, they knocked us over first game last year. The first game’s always going to be a bit of a tester for how well both teams have prepared in the off-season. If they’ve prepared well they’ll probably do to us what they did to us last year and give us a hiding.”
17-year-old Jake O’Connell made his debut last year and Bramble is expecting the teenager to spearhead the bowling attack.
“Jake has really developed in the off-season and I think he’s going to be quite a contributor this season with both bat and ball.”
“We gave him an opportunity last year to play first grade and he’s really benefited from it. Even in the off-season he’s bowling better and he’s hitting the ball harder.”