NORTH Nowra Cambewarra has gone from being the hunter to the hunted.
Norths, after winning the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association's first-grade premiership last season, will now be the one all teams want to beat.
Norths' premiership-winning Captain Justin Weller wants his players to build on their grand-final success.
"I think winning the comp last year will help us grow as a team and gives us more confidence," he said.
"We know we can match it with the best."
Weller is not taking anything for granted and knows Norths will be under pressure to perform and defend the title.
He thinks the 2019/20 competition will be tight.
"All the teams will probably on the same level and so I can see anyone winning the comp," he said.
"To be honest I have not even thought about going back to back. It's a very long season ahead and anything can happen.
"All sides are just as good as each other which means there will be no easy games and anything can happen on match day."
Weller said Norths' preseason preparation was solid.
"On the back of the success from last year, the club's preseason has been very relaxed but there is also a lot of excitement surrounding the season ahead," he said.
"The club has never been in such a great position."
Norths have a strong batting line up.
"Nick McDonald, Graham Davidson and Shane Bell are our three big key batsmen," Weller said "Although Macca and Davo had lean times last season we all saw in the final what those two are capable of doing and Shane is our rock in the middle order.
"Shane's role is critical as we have a lot of quick scoring players around him like Lowcock, Seffyer, Becks and myself."
However, the Norths' leader said bowling was his team's strength.
"We have four genuine opening bowlers who bowl at a good pace and can move the ball both ways," he said
"Throw in Hugh Gillen and Macca and you have a very good spin duo as well."
Weller has not lost any of his speed but added he has plenty of options in attack.
"Apart from myself, Hugh Gillen is one of our key bowlers and he is always a big wicket-taking spinner," Weller said.
"The return of Dan May, Harrison Temple and maybe John Muggleton gives us a lot of bowling options.
"Throw in Colin Searson, who used to open the bowling for Basin couple of years ago, Damien Spelta, Macca's arm balls and even Davo or Shane Bell and you see we have plenty of bowling options this season."
Weller sees Searson, Temple, May and Muggleton as the key inclusion to the squad.
"These four bring plenty of experience, talent and bowling depth which we lacked last year," Weller said.
The Norths' leader said they would miss Luke Huard.
"With Luke playing up in Sydney this year there is a massive hole in our top order to fill but I am confident in the squad we have that we will be able to cover him this season," Weller said.
Weller is a match-winner on his day and has the x-factor.
However, the captain said he is not the only Norths player who can turn a match.
"I can't go past Macca (Nick McDonald) as being our x-factor with his leadership, experience and talent but most importantly he is a bloke who stands up in the big games or when we need someone to stand up," Weller said
So are Norths stronger this year or weaker?
"I wouldn't say our team has got better than last year," Weller said.
"I just reckon we now have more depth within our club.
"So if someone is not performing we have the players in seconds who can come up and can more than hold their own."
Norths are a versatile team, according to its captain.
"Our side is very versatile, although we have a lot of quick scoring batsmen. we can also bat for very long periods of time," he said.
"So I don't think I can say that only one format suits us and I think we are just as good in all three (two days, one day and Twenty20) formats.".
Weller wants to see more junior given the chance in the higher grades this season..
At a club level, he also wants success right across the board.
"I would love to see all four grades play finals this season," he said.
The five-team first-grade competition does not start until Saturday, October 19, while all the lower teams will be battle this Saturday.
The five teams in first grade his season are Norths, Berry Shoalhaven Heads, Bomaderry, Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen and Ulladulla United.