COLAC district cricket Division One captains have signalled Colac, City United and reigning premier Stoneyford as competition frontrunners on the eve of the season.
Colac had a lean 2013-14 campaign, missing finals after a grand final appearance two seasons ago.
But the Stallions have strengthened their squad in the off-season with five new players, including the key signatures of Jack and Aidan Spence, who returned to Colac after stints with South Barwon.
Colac’s player movement has caught the eye of opponents, who have predicted the Stallions as flag contenders.
Four of the seven captains forecast Colac as premiership favourites for the season which starts tomorrow.
City United skipper Sam Cardinal said Stoneyford, which his side finished runner-up to last season, would still be hard to stop.
But he said the Stallions would be a dangerous outfit.
“Stoneyford are premiers from last year and they’ve got four or five really good players,” Cardinal said.
“But Colac has got a pretty even side and they’ve picked up a few which will strengthen them up even more, because they had a pretty decent side last season.”
Irrewarra captain Dave Jackson said the Spence brothers’ impact for the Stallions would complement their 2013-14 side.
“The two Spence boys will be a massive inclusion, plus Stewie Sutherland’s probably the best bat in the league and Adrian Murray’s more than handy,” he said.
Jack Spence, who will co-captain the Stallions on his return, said the club was keen to feature in finals this season following its absence in 2013-14.
“We’re hoping to go pretty deep into finals,” he said.
“Since they made the grand final a few years ago, the list has probably improved since then.”
Maroon Caps skipper Levi Dare said City United would continue to be a force this season, despite losing key batsman Luke Inglis to Geelong City and Kane Leersen due to travel for the season.
Stoneyford has kept its list intact after its breakthrough premiership and Colac co-captain Alex White said the Maroon Caps deserved the right to enter the season as favourites.