After falling to RSL Colts in last seasons grand final, Ben Knaggs and the CYMS Cougars are ready to take the next step when the RSL Whitney Cup season begins.
The Cougars have been one of the competitions top sides over the last three seasons, with the highlight coming back in 2019/20 when CYMS won the RSL Whitney Cup after COVID-19 ended the season.
Knaggs knows his squad are eager to start the season which should begin in early October pending the COVID-19 restrictions in the region.
"Everyone is pretty keen," he said.
"It's a shame COVID-19 has started up again but everyone is keen for the season.
"We still have high hopes for the season so it should be good.
"It's going to be a strong competition."
CYMS have lost Lachlan Strachan to Macquarie and were set to lose young gun Tom Coady to Sydney but Knaggs admitted he and another former Cougar could be around this season.
"Depending on COVID-19 both Tom Coady and Brock Larance will be back in town," he said.
"It's nice having Brock back, he is handy with the bat and ball so it's a very nice addition.
"Plus Tom Coady at the top of the order so it is going to be have those two in town."
Former Australian junior and DDCA leading run-scorer, Larance will undoubtedly strengthen the Cougars line-up while adding a bit of experience at a young age.
CYMS have also added an extra top order player to their line-up this season with newcomer Phallak Aroraah looking likely to replace Strachan as an opening batsman.
"Phil he is coming from Sydney or Melbourne and he is a handy bat," Knaggs said.
"I've seen him in the nets a couple of times and he will be a great addition to the top of the order.
"He'll go really well."
Knaggs feel there is a bit of added motivation after losing to RSL in last seasons grand final but knows his side is still very young.
"Two years ago winning it with COVID-19 and then making the grand final last year to take it one step further a winning it would've been nice," he said.
"But we are such a young team, we are always improving and working towards something.
"We have a great junior club which is coming up through.
"We are always improving and learning as a team.
"It did hurt a little bit but hopefully this year we can go one step further."
CYMS have a mixture of youth and experience with the likes of Ben O'Donnell and Bailey Edmunds playing several years in the top grade.
Young off-spinner Paddy Nelson could prove himself as one of the best tweakers in the competition after a strong season last year.
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