The 2021/22 Great Southern Cricket season is upon us with all senior and junior grades beginning this weekend.
The U/10's and U/12's will launch the season on Friday night with our junior and senior colts starting Saturday morning before the seniors dust off the whites in the afternoon.
The A Grade competition remains the same as last season with back-to-back premiers Willunga again the team to beat as they chase the illusive three in a row.
Runner-up Pt Elliot will look to grow from their experiences last year and will hope the lessons learned will hold them in good stead for the upcoming season.
The ever-experienced Encounter Bay and Noarlunga will always be around the mark with the likes of Lintern and Hoffmann for the Bays and the Scarff brothers for the Shoes teaching their young brigade what it takes to play consistent A grade cricket.
Goolwa and McLaren Districts will be optimistic about the possibilities and hoping for improvement across the board as they strive to play deep into finals cricket again.
The B Grade competition has expanded from 10 teams to 11, with Willunga and Victor Harbor stepping up from C1 and Seaford Rise returning to C grade only as they look to rebuild.
Myponga, Mt Compass and Yankalilla loom likely as the teams to beat as their clubs highest side, however you can never rule out Noarlunga who were runner up last season and are always in contention.
The C grade competitions will again be split into C1 and C2. Goolwa will be firm favourites in the C1 after a dominant finals display last season and opting not fill the void left by Seaford Rise in the B Grade.
The C2 competition is anyone's guess at this early stage, but expect Encounter Bay and Rapid Bay to again be the teams to beat.
We've had an increase in clubs and sides represented across the Senior and Junior Colts.
In the Senior Colts we will have a 6-team competition with Mt Compass and Aldinga making a combined side and Willunga re-joining the competition.
The Junior Colts have jumped from 6 to 8 sides with the inclusion of a combined Rapid Bay/ Victor Harbor team: a very positive sign for the future of these two clubs.
Finally, the Under 12's is again split into North and South with the U10's a standalone competition.
Good luck to all clubs, players and volunteers as they begin Season 2021/22.
It is a going to be a great season as we all strive to make cricket popular with youngsters and encourage more to play the game.
Keep an eye out in The Times every Thursday and online for all the results and weekly wrap.