NEW Ferntree Gully District Cricket Association captain Andrew Devenish is confident his side will put its best foot forward when the VCCL Melbourne Country Week competition begins this Monday.
The FTGDCA side won Bendigo Country Week earlier this year and with eight members from that squad in the Melbourne side, Devenish is looking forward to the campaign.
"I'm pretty confident," he said.
"We have players from the side which won the final at Bendigo and when you look at their form in that competition and our players' form in their local teams then I think we will give ourselves every chance of doing well."
The association will play in the division 2 competition against West Gippsland, Yarra Valley, Benalla, Hamilton, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.
Opening batsman and wicketkeeper Jayden Bradbury made more than 200 runs in Bendigo and will again shape as a key player for the FTGDCA, while Johnson Park all-rounder Adam Dobb will fill important roles in the middle order and the middle overs with his off-spinners.
Seamers Cam Wheeler, Trent Atkinson and Jay Collee will lead the bowling attack along with Dobb.
Devenish will captain the side instead of respected veteran Matt Mulcahy, who is not playing in Country Week this year.
"The key aspect of our wins in last year's competition was that we batted our overs, didn't miss opportunities to take catches or get run outs — we did all the basics right and that is what we will have to do this year," Devenish said.
The FTGDCA side will also be noticeably younger but Devenish and vice-captain JayCollee are both expected to lead their side.
"Last year we had an older, more experienced side, this year we have a lot more youth but we still have a few older heads like Jay and myself," he said. "We will be expected to perform well after winning the final in Bendigo and I'm confident that if we play our best we will be in position to make the final."
FTGDCA squad: Andrew Devenish (captain) Johnson Park; Trent Atkinson, South Belgrave; Nick Bogar, FTG Footballers; Jarrod Butcher, Knox Gardens; Jayden Bradbury, Ferntree Gully; Jay Colee (VC), Upper Gully; Trent Evans, Knoxfield; Adam Dobb, Johnson Park; Muhammad Farrukh, Ferntree Gully; Bryn Gaunt, Johnson Park; Luke McComb, FTG Footballers; Robbie McComb, FTG Footballers; Cam Wheeler, Mt Gate.
VCCL Melbourne Country Week draw: Monday, Ferntree Gully DCA v West Gippsland, Casey Fields 4; Tuesday, Hamilton v Ferntree Gully DCA, Toorak Park, Armadale; Wednesday, Ferntree Gully DCA v Traralgon, Ivanhoe Park; Thursday, Traralgon v Ferntree Gully DCA, Mt Waverley Reserve; Friday, grand final at either the Albert Ground or Northcote. All matches start at 10.15am.