After a heart-breaking loss in last season's semi-final, the Newtown Tigers will have a new captain leading the charge towards they hope is another RSL Whitney Cup title this summer.
Mitch Russo has taken over the top job from Mat Skinner, whose six-season stint as captain included a Whitney Cup title win in 2018/19.
Russo believes Newtown are in a good spot going into the season which should begin in early October, depending on COVID-19 lockdowns.
"I'm excited," he said.
"I know all the boys are pretty keen to see what we can get out of the season.
"It will be a different experience that's for sure."
Russo admitted he has always had the ambition to lead the Tigers in the top grade and feels the side could surprise a few people this season.
"I've always felt like a bit of a leader in the team," he said.
"I feel like I've always wanted to captain and feel I have a good relationship with all the boys.
"We can really do well this year."
The incoming captain will have the luxury of having former captains Steve and Mat Skinner as well as Dan French to lean on for advice during his first season in the top job.
"They'll be huge," he said.
"I'll always turn to them for advice here and there but having those heads around me will help my captaincy."
Newtown will be without a few key players in the bowling department this season with Trent Smith, Lee Price and Mitch Lincoln all moving away from Dubbo.
But the Tigers will have their new captain, both Skinners, French and Dan Holland in their side throughout the season, all of who have a wealth of first grade experience between them.
A host of new players will replace the departing trio but Russo is unsure as to who it will be due to the lack of training to date.
"We've got a couple of new faces but I haven't seen them," he said.
"It's just because we haven't been able to train or anything.
"They've shown enough from what I've seen that they can match it with our first grade competition."
Some of the newer faces who could be ones to watch this season are another pair of siblings Shubham and Gaurav Sharma, who have the ability to spin the ball both ways which tricked many batsmen last season.
Newtown were thumped by the CYMS Cougars in last season's semi-final and it is a result which Russo and his troops will use as motivation heading into this competition when it begins.
"Making the semi-final last year, it really hurt losing that game," he said.
"Considering the season we had, I felt like we could've done better.
"Anything less than finals this year is disappointing really."
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