By Tara Murray
Westmeadows is out to make amends for the disappointment of last season in the division 1 north Tony Issacs Shield.
The Warriors last season looked set to play finals until a dramatic couple of hours on the final day of the regular season.
A reverse outright loss would consign the Warriors to watch the final few matches from the sidelines.
Warriors’ captain-coach Tarek Moughanie said there was no excuse for not playing finals last season.
“It was a really disappointing back half of the season,” he said.
“We won two of five games after Christmas … At 4.30pm on the final day we were in the top four.
“We’re looking forward to this season.”
Moughanie said they had added some more depth to the side this season and expected they would have a stronger team.
He said they had added two bowlers.
“Dean Pitts comes from Pascoe Vale and always takes a lot of wickets,” he said.
“Jackson Smith is a young quick. I haven’t seen him off his full run up yet, but he’s known to crank up the speed gun and is pushing 140.
“He can put the fear into the opposition. He also hits the ball harder than I do.”
Darrel Brown returns for a second season in a bonus for the Warriors, having originally planned to retire.
Premiership player Clayton Campbell returns from New Zealand in the early part of the season.
Moughanie said there were plenty of juniors coming through as well.
He said they had come along quicker in their development than he expected with a good group of 14 to 17 year-olds.
“They will throw their hat in the ring for the first XI,” he said.
“Jordan Kosteas is a left-handed bat who is just 16,” he said.
“A young keeper in Jake Hatton has really caught my attention.”
Moughanie said another he expected to step up was Riley Thompson, who would get more opportunities with the bat and ball.
Moughanie said the future was bright for the club.
“We’ve got four senior teams and under-18s and then junior teams.
“We’ve got more junior girls teams.
Westmeadows starts its season this weekend, with a two-day clash against Royal Park/Brunswick.
In other matches, Craigieburn plays West Coburg and Greenvale Kangaroos hosts Glenroy.