Almost a decade since winning their latest first grade competition in season 2008-2009, Valleys Cricket Club is aiming to end their premiership drought.
The green and golds have swooped on a number of former Morongla players left without a club after its first grade side failed to nominate for 2017-2018 season.
McNaught brothers Sam and Jacob and wicket-keeper batsman Sam Long are all set to make their debuts for Valleys this Saturday.
The McNaughts and Long are three big coups for Valleys, and skipper Ben Houghton believes it gives his side the cartel it needs to go all the way.
“Usually we’ve set a goal to make the finals. But this year I’d say the goal is to win and I think we have the personnel to do it,” Houghton said.
“Everyone knows what the McNaught boys are capable of and Sam Long looks a handy keeper and a good batsman as well. We’re looking for a big season from them.”
It’s likely Sam McNaught will take the new ball and spearhead the attack this Saturday against Bowling Club at Twigg Oval, with Ben Cole or Jackson Moodie to partner him.
Jacob McNaught isn’t expected to bowl pace at club level due to injury but will play an important role with the willow.
Houghton’s also hoping to see Valleys stalwart Greg Garlick have a big year at the top of the order. “Everyone knows he can score runs. He’s our best batsman,” Houghton said of Garlick.
This week marks the opening round of the new Lachlan Premier Competition.
The 40-over competition combines clubs from Cowra, Parkes and Canowindra, sparked after the demise of Morongla and Grenfell, and Young returning to the South West Slopes competition.
The second match this week pits Parkes clubs Colts and Cats together at Woodward Oval, while Canowindra has the bye.
Last year’s Cowra District Association first grade premiers Bowling Club will test Valleys in the opening round.
The match starts at 1pm at Twigg Oval.
Valleys: Ben Houghton, Scott Wilson, Greg Garlick, Jackson Moodie, Jarrod Mason, Benny Cole, Kane Schofield, James Montgomery, Jacob McNaught, Sam McNaught, Michael Millar, Sam Long.