SOUTH LAUNCESTON is looking forward to the challenge of being the ``hunted'' in 2013-14 as Cricket North's rain-delayed season is finally set for a start this weekend.
Knights coach Ben Austen said he worded up his charges against the dangers of complacency in the preseason and believed they were aware of the challenge which begins against Mowbray at NTCA No. 2 tomorrow.
``The club has great depth and the future looks very bright for South,'' Austen said.
``We know what to expect against Mowbray, who are always very good competitors with a good bowling line-up. They have plenty of experience and their batting shows that and we're expecting a good contest.''
MOWBRAY will be focusing on what it can control when it comes up against the Knights.
``We'll be focused on how we play and what we can do, and that's all you can really do as a team,'' coach Roger Brown said.
``If you are focusing on the opposition, you're not focusing on your own game, so we will look to control what we can control.''
LAUNCESTON coach Paul Bunton believed the inclusion of former premiership captains Jade Selby and Ross Clayton would have an immediate impact for the Lions as they face last year's runners-up Westbury at NTCA No 1.
``We respect Westbury highly and we know that they are a very good side,'' Bunton said.
``But we've added some experience to our side, which will obviously be beneficial, and that has added some quality and depth to our team.
``We'll have a good blend of youth and experience and will put out a good team.''
Bunton expected new recruit in all-rounder Mark Little to also line-up against the Shamrocks.
WESTBURY, meanwhile, is not focusing on redemption after last year's grand final loss, but on being ``the best cricket team it can be''.
``We've had a shortened, but a really good preseason, and everyone is champing at the bit to get out there,'' coach Adrian Tudor said.
Tudor agreed with his Launceston counterpart that the inclusions of Selby and Clayton would present a very different Lions outfit.
``But our focus won't just be on Jade and Ross,'' Tudor said.
``They had a good young list last year and they will be a team to watch this year.
``We won't be taking them lightly.''
GEORGE TOWN is not looking at the loss of players from last season from last year, including UK imports Liam Johnson, Liam Musselwhite, as well as Gabe Bell and Daniel Newton, as a negative, with coach Rohan Pooley saying it will give young players an opportunity to step up.
``At the start of the season last year, we wouldn't have been thinking about silverware or anything like that, and we're in that same boat now,'' he said of last year's Greater Northern Cup winners.
``We believe our XI will challenge any XI on any given day, we just have to execute our goals and plans.''
Pooley said he was predicting a tough challenge at Crothers Oval against the team he believed would be the big improvers this year, RIVERSIDE.
Captain-coach Luke Richardson said he was wary of the Saints, who were last season's one-day specialists.
``It is all a bit of an unknown for us with all this waiting (due to the weather), but we're looking forward to it,'' he said.
Richardson will miss this weekend, which would have been his debut match as Riverside boss, as he will be attending a friend's wedding.
NTCA ROUND 1
Mowbray v South Launceston: at NTCA No 2
George Town v Riverside: at Crothers Oval
Launceston v Westbury Shamrocks: at NTCA No 1