ROUND one of the Mid North Coast Premier League cricket starts off this weekend with Taree club United looking to go back to back in what is expected to be one of the closest competitions since the competition's inception two seasons ago.
Here is a look at the teams.
KEMPSEY club Rovers have had a turn over of some older heads in the off season but welcome a few younger players into the fold looking for an opportunity to test themselves at a higher level.
According to captain Ethan Dowling second year player Harry Nemmie will hurry a few opposition batters up as he has gained a yard of pace.
He also is expecting big things from Lachie Dowling with the bat. Dowling also said that batting will be Rovers strength this year and he expects them to be there at the business end of the season fighting for a spot in the finals.
A NEW captain this year for the Port Macquarie club with Adam Broderick taking over from Ben Marron, who has left the club.
Magpies also welcome all-rounder Aaron Hagenbach from Wauchope and Charles Adnum who is back from the police academy. Broderick has said to expect big things from young 15-year-old Caleb Blanch with the bat and also said the team's strength will be their bowling unit, who he expects to take the club into the finals and give the comp a real shake.
LAST season's premiers will look to do it the hard way this year after losing two important players in Zac Sheather and Dean Mills.
But have offset those loses with the recruitment of middle order bat Brock Hynes from Wingham.
Captain Ricky Campbell is expecting big things from opening bowler Justin Boyd and believes the team's strength will be its batting. Campbell is taking it one goal at a time with the semis the first target.
WAUCHOPE will be going through a bit of a rebuilding year with a number of players moving on.
This inclues Aaron Hagenbach, Bailey Smith, Robbie Parker, Issac King and Jake Morgan-Monk.
The club will rely on experienced players including Lindsay Hopper, Darren Bourke, Matt Day and Andrew Murrell to help captain Matt Miller bring through the next crop of juniors.
Wauchope have also gained batsmen Mitch Quinn and Paul Jobber with both adding some depth to the line up.
Much will hinge on reigning player of the year Nathan Lyon, who took his game to the next level last season. Some good juniors are hoping to make the step up to premier league this year with the club having high hopes for batsman Quinn Pares, bowler Corey Holt and all-rounder Riley Mallyon.
PIRATES have a new captain this year, Connor Cook and big things are expected from what is one of the best bunch of juniors to come through in the area at the same time. This is the year that everyone is expecting them to take the next step and give the comp a real shake.
The team is strong in all areas and will be lead by the evergreen Paul Stait with the ball.
Two new players to the club to keep an eye on are Layton Gray and Zac Callicetto. There are also rumours of a club stalwart returning and if it is true their batting will be even stronger and might be the difference between a grand final berth or just falling short.
TAREE West will be much stronger this year with the majority of players sticking around. The club welcomes Dean Mills who will take over the captaincy.
All-rounders Zac Sheather and Clint Simpson will add a new dimension with both bat and ball and the team would be disappointed with anything less then a semi-final berth this year.
WINGHAM are in a good position to go one better this year and make the grand final after some shrewd pick ups in the off season.
The club welcomes back Ben Scowen as well as Rhett MacGregor and Blake Sky with Brock Hynes the only major loss.
Captain Michael Rees said Josh McTaggart is as a player to watch this year with the bat while Steve Allwood should shine with the ball.
One to keep an eye on is rookie Blake Thompson with Rees saying that he could be one of the best young bats to come out of the area in a long time. Rees also said that the team's bowling and fielding are the strengths.