CITY Colts begin their hunt for a third successive Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade grand final appearance when they host ORC at Loco Oval on Saturday.
Making that grand final run continue will be a challenge for Colts with several losses.
Captain Dan Casey said while the majority of the team will be a similar look to last season it will be hard to patch the holes left in the batting order.
“In first grade we’ve lost a couple of players and that will make things a bit tough, and it’s a similar situation in second grade,” he said.
“Callum Hotham has gone up to Queensland to play. He’s a big loss and a very talented cricketer. He’s a great batsman and also a quality keeper.
“Connor Hotham has moved to Sydney but will still be available every now and then, probably every second week at best. Other than that we’ve got a similar team together.”
With his departure Callum Hotham takes away with him the fifth biggest run tally of any player last season.
However, Colts have maintained a strong core group of players who Casey said will need to lead the way.
“I had a look at a photo the other day of our team who won the title a couple of years ago and the amount of guys who have left since then is crazy,” he said.
“There’s still myself, Henry Shoemark and Matt Stephen. This season we’ve also had Jacob Bognuda come across from ORC which boosts our bowling attack.
“The problem is that it’s mostly our batting stocks which we’ve lost from last season. We’ve also got a few injured players already, which is not something you’d expect at this time of year.
“We’ve got five out in first grade so straight away we’ve got to try and bring our best cricket into this game."
Thanks to the prolonged wet weather of last summer Colts were one of the worse teams affected by match cancellations, missing five out of their seven one-day fixtures.
That saw them only take on ORC once in 2015-16, a commanding outright victory at Loco Oval.
It was a memorable innings for Colts who piled on 420 runs courtesy of half centuries from four players.
The win was part of Colts’ important five-game winning run which would help pave a path towards the grand final.
One of those players was Craig Berry, part of the injured Colts stock who won’t be taking to the field for the opening match.
Casey is looking forward to starting a new season on the club’s home deck.
“Always good to play at Loco. The ground is looking as good thanks to all the rain that we've had and the pitch is looking good as well,” he said.
Colts will enjoy home matches in three of their four opening games this season.