The RSL-Colts may have come off second best last year, but Captain Marty Jeffery thinks his team is well positioned to make a strong run and hold the Whitney Cup aloft by the end of the upcoming season.
"All looking very good for us preparation wise, we've got a very similar side to last year and we've pulled up a few players from second grade who've been in good form," Jeffery said.
That core continuity and unity has been a big part of the Colts success and is a part of why many considered them the team to beat in last year's season.
Although their line up has also been affected by the widespread changes and large number of departures and trades that have occurred in the off-season, the Colts have been able to limit the hits to their star line-up, aside from the notable absence of all-rounder Tom Atlee.
Atlee is one of many Dubbo region players to make the move to Sydney this year in pursuit of big opportunities and while the Colts will miss his talents both in and around the crease, Jeffery is optimistic about the club's ability to fill the void.
"I guess we've got a few a few players on the come up, but Tommy's a big loss and he's one of the best batters in Dubbo," Jeffery said.
"But as a core group, we're not going to be relying on one guy to do the bulk of our bowling, we've still got a really strong spin attack, and we'll be counting on that; we'll look to to spin and look to our older guys like Grant Malouf, to fill that void."
Malouf, a stand-out in last year's Pinnington Cup competition, helped that side to a minor premiership while also showing up in the Whitney Cup's games.
With both Colt's sides having come so close to securing a title last year, Jeffery hasn't flinched from reviewing what went wrong in last year's title pursuit.
"I think last year we sort of peaked a little bit too early and went into the final series with not a lot of momentum."
The fix for that, Jeffery says, is in staying focused and making sure that their campaign doesn't become bogged down in the moment to moment setbacks that could blunt momentum.
"I guess this year we'll be looking to make sure we build on every week, it's a long time to March comes around, and making sure that we're fit and if we do lose games, how we can combat that and make sure we come back better."
The RSL-Colts were stumped at the post in their final game of last season, losing out to the Newtown Tigers in the grand final, but Jeffery is confident his side can get there this year.
"We're always looking to get to the Whitney Cup and do one better, so yeah, that's definitely the goal."
"It should be a really exciting season, it should be good for us."
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