New Wendouree captain Ryan Simmonds will lead a core largely unchanged from last season into the 2020-21 Ballarat Cricket Association campaign.
The club retained just about every player from the 2019-20 squad, which were an outright victory away from reaching the BCA finals. Simmonds said he hoped to lead a more consistent outfit in the upcoming season.
"We were probably just a bit inconsistent last year. Our batting was either brilliant or a little bit ordinary, so if we can be a bit more consistent with the bat it will give our bowlers a bit more of a chance," he said.
The Red Caps added Echuca native Shaun Hon to the side in an effort to increase their depth at the crease. Simmons said he would be a handy pick up with the bat and behind the stumps.
"He played a lot of rep cricket and captained Echuca for two seasons," he said.
The club will also bank on the improvement of promising youngsters Oliver Mahncke, Lucus Argall and Tristan Maple. All three flashed potential last season, and Simmons said it would pay to watch them going forward.
"Those three young kids in particular will be really important for us improving," Simmonds said.
"They'll be really important for us in pushing towards finals."
This season will mark the first as a senior captain for Simmonds, who replaced last year's skipper Gavin Webb. Simmonds said he would have big shoes to fill.
"I had been vice captain last year and when the T20 comps were midweek, I had a go at captaining the side then and the committee approached me and asked me if I'd be interested," he said.
"It's pretty exciting, they are big shoes to fill but I'm really looking forward to the opportunity that the club has given me."
Simmonds will lean on a core of veterans featuring Webb as well as last season's reigning EJ Cleary Medalist Cole Roscholler. He said he wanted the club to play exciting cricket.
"We'd like to become the best fielding side and hopefully that is a legacy I can leave," he said.
The club will look to have its first training session of the season next week at the Ballarat Badminton Association. COVID-19 restrictions will limit what the players can do, however Simmonds said the club would make the most out of it.
"We will split up and work in slightly smaller groups," he said.
I'm lucky that I will have some great support from some quality and experienced players."