Many are playing top grade cricket for the first time in many years but that hasn't stopped the Illawarra Passionate Cricketers Club (IPCC) players from setting lofty goals for their debut campaign in Cricket Illawarra's first-grade competition.
IPCC captain Aaron Ilatse said buoyed by a strong showing in the T20 competition, the team were keen to replicate their good form in the one-day arena.
With rain playing havoc with the opening rounds of the 50-overs competition, IPCC have only played one game heading into their round four showdown against Wollongong at North Dalton Park this Saturday.
IPCC lost their debut one-day fixture to Keira by 130 runs last Saturday but Ilatse said his team were encouraged by their form in the opening six to eight weeks of the season and were determined to cap their debut campaign in the top grade with a finals' berth.
"We are really happy with the T20 competition. I think we finished fourth in the T20 comp so it was a really positive start for us," he said.
"It was disappointing to lose last week and we probably have our toughest test to date coming up against Wollongong. We're looking forward to it. It will be a step up for us but it will give us a good gauge as to where we're at in terms of progression.
"It's obviously a learning curve for us as a team. Most of the guys in the team, myself included, haven't sort of played at that level for many years or if at all.
"The fact that we managed to finish fourth in the T20 competition was a big surprise and a big shock to everyone really but we're really happy and really proud about that achievement."
Former Keira junior Ilatse hasn't played this level of cricket for seven years but has kept his skills intact by playing in the LMS (Last Man Stands) cricket competition during the winter months.
He said a number of his team-mates had also done the same thing.
"We lack experience in this level of cricket but we have some very good players," Ilatse said.
"Zaied Bin Khalid has been superb, especially with his bowling. I think he took three wickets against Keira last week.
"Randeep Singh was also fantastic for us during the T20 comp. I think he took eight wickets for us. We've had a number of other good contributors but those two in particular have been fantastic for us.
"We're hopeful we can continue our good form and hopefully play finals this season. That's our goal and we'll be doing our best to get there."
In the other round four one-day fixtures on Saturday, Northern Districts play Corrimal at Hollymount Park, Port Kembla hosts Balgownie at King George V Oval, Wests Illawarra battle University at Figtree Oval and Keira play Dapto at Keira Village Park.
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