Sports Editor ROB SHAW previews the Greater Northern Raiders' season with men's coach Tim Coyle
- Captain: Oliver Wood
- Last season: 8th out of 9 in CT Premier League (W5 D3 L10), leading run-scorer Miles Barnard (441 at 36.75), leading wicket-taker Jono Chapman (32 at 18.09); 5th of 9 in Kookaburra Cup; 3rd of 9 in T20 comp
It was a good season of continual improvement. We won five games and had a good T20 tournament.
Our two-day cricket still needs some work and rather than just be competitive, we want to be looking to compete for titles and I think this group can do that over the next few years.
Charlie Eastoe joins us. He has been captain at Glenorchy but lives and works in Launceston and is a big in for our batting because he's a class player. He's ex-South Launceston and now Launceston. He's experienced and can bat for long periods of time and a keeper as well if needed.
Alistair Taylor will play a lot more for us so feels like a recruit as well. He was captain of Launceston and is part of the Cricket Tasmania high performance coaching team based in Launceston. Now that the Raiders program is seen as high performance it fits into his role as well. He's a big in with the bat and will stand behind the stumps as well.
Brayden Stepien has gone to Clarence to be closer to the state program.
David Rao joins us from Dandenong. He's an off-spinner and late middle order bat so he's a positive recruit and adds depth to our spin bowling department.
Evan Gulbis will play the start of the year and maybe even until the end of December. We're in the lap of the COVID gods. He's obviously a big inclusion, particularly around two-day cricket, and a huge asset to our program.
Sam O'Mahony (Devonport) has been a standout in pre-season after we saw really good signs from him last year with bat and ball so I think he will play a big part.
Cooper Anthes (Riverside) grew as an off-spinner and batter last year. All-rounder Spencer Hayes (Mowbray) could be our surprise packet while Will Bennett (Launceston) as continues to progress as a young leg-spinner.
Ben Spinks (Mowbray) and Dihan Cloete (Launceston) are young quicks looking to take the next step which is very exciting and gives us good depth.
We've lost a few with injuries. (Batting all-rounder) James Simpson (Riverside) did an ankle injury playing footy (with Bridgenorth). It's a pretty nasty injury. We expect to see him at some stage but maybe not until after Christmas.
Miles Barnard (Devonport) picked up a knee injury playing soccer which is a real shame.
We will play some games at UTAS Stadium, including, hopefully, a two-day game in November plus a round of the T20 comp.
The WBBL news has affected us because we would have had as many as four games there.
It is what it is and we do a fair bit of travelling but we're used to that.
We'll have a couple of games at Riverside which will be good because they have excellent facilities there and a good wicket.
We're continuing to give young players every chance to play at the highest level. We have people who want to play for us and we're now able to pick a similar team week-in, week-out which gives us continuity.
They are part of something significant to the North of the state, part of a flagship program.
For the health of cricket in Tasmania, we need to continue to invest in the North of the state, and this is a great step towards that.
Saturday, 10.30am v University of Tasmania, Windsor Park (Riverside)