Overseas Players: James Wainman (UK, Yorkshire)
Season 2017-18: 7th (8 wins, 7 losses, 65 points)
Strength: The Bears have a core group of young talented kids which have stayed together for a number of seasons.
Challenge: Inconsistency throughout the year from the younger players coming in to the squad.
Summary: The Bears were right in the finals mix up until the final round of Season 2017-18, where, had results gone their way, could have scraped into the top six. However, the young group did finish third in the One Day competition, showcasing their powerful short form performances. The Round 10 win over eventual premiers Claremont Nedlands was one of their best performances. Tim Smithies and Ashley Jeffery were standout performers with bat and ball respectively last season and will be looking to guide their young charges into the top six in Season 2018-19
Fremantle Season Preview
Overseas Players: Tom Abell (UK, Somerset)
Season 2017-18: 11th (8 wins, 7 losses, 56 points)
Strength: Fremantle have a strong all-round ability to get the job done with bat and ball.
Challenge: Young group of cricketers coming through with not much experience.
Summary: Fremantle dropped down the ladder in Season 2017-18, finishing 11th after a strong 2016-17 campaign. The club has solid top end batting talent, with Chris Davenport, Matthew Micale and Brayden Sutton all scoring over 350 runs throughout the season, but will desperately need to find support for those three, if Fremantle are to climb back up the ladder and become the scoring powerhouse it has been in the past.
Gosnells Season Preview
Overseas Players: Luis Reece (UK, Derbyshire), Ben Green (UK)
Season 2017-18: 12th (5 wins, 10 losses, 42 points)
Strength: Blend of youth and experience, more suited to shorter form.
Challenge: One of the youngest groups in the competition, so lack of experience could be telling.
Summary: The young Gosnells squad endured a difficult 2017-18 campaign. Winless after four rounds, Gosnells finally opened their account with a rousing win over Joondalup. First year captain Matthew Leipold had a brilliant season, notching 459 runs, while UK import Ben Green will be looking to match his club-high 544 runs. Gosnells would do well to find a couple more top end bowlers to help out Aaron Keverne-Onyon and Chris Prescott if they are to jump up the ladder this season.
Melville Season Preview
Overseas Players: -
Last Year: 5th (10 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw, 75 points)
Strength: Very balanced between batting and bowling, experienced squad, settled line up.
Challenge: Staying in the top six.
Summary: Melville were one of the power teams of the competition for most of the 2017-18 season. A mid-season form slump clicked the Storm into gear, finishing the season with five wins from their last seven games to finish fifth on the ladder. However, the Storm were knocked out of the One Day and Two Day finals series in the Elimination Final and Preliminary Final respectively, highlighting how close they came to tasting the ultimate success. Blake Reed and Drew Porter will look to form a deadly one-two punch with the bat again this season, while another all-rounder would be handy as Melville look to take one step further in 2018-19.
Claremont Nedlands Season Preview
Overseas Players: Jamie Crawley (UK)
Season 2017-18: 1st (11 wins, 4 losses, 86 points)
Strength: Mix of youthful and senior experience with no reliance on any one player. Strong, settled line up.
Challenge: Maintaining the rage.
Summary: Claremont Nedlands solidified its position as the powerhouse of the competition in season 2017-18, taking all before it to finish on top of the ladder once again. A third-straight One Day premiership followed by a hard-fought Two Day flag showcased the all-round class and dominant season of the club. The only issue facing the Tigers is if the club can continue its sparkling touch and create history by winning all three forms of the game after falling just short in the T20 Grand Final.
Midland Guildford Season Preview
Overseas Players: Andy McBrine (Ireland)
Season 2017-18: 16th (5 wins, 10 losses, 34 points)
Strength: Young squad mixed with a few experienced players
Challenge: Consistency from the younger squad members, maintaining standards.
Summary: It was another tough season for Midland Guildford in 2017-18, finishing 16th for the second year in a row. However, the Black Swans managed to snare two more wins compared to 2016-17, which shows that, while the progress is slow, they are on the right track. Julian Crudeli and Charlie Cassell were the leading wicket takers in a lean year. Midland Guildford will need to find a few extra batsmen to help Mast throughout the middle overs to ensure they don’t suffer similar batting collapses as last season.
Perth Season Preview
Overseas Players: Adam Wheater (UK, Essex)
Season 2017-18: 4th (9 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw, 75 Points)
Strength: United core group of 8-10 players that have played together for 4-5 years.
Challenge: Creating depth. Key players must perform well for the team to succeed and take the next step.
Summary: Perth finished in the top four for the second year in a row in 2017-18, with their settled line up leading from the front. Luke Jury and Dain Moreton blitzed the competition with the bat, scoring 711 and 551 runs respectively. Perth has the nucleus of a premiership winning team, but in order to take the next step from Semi-Final heartache to Grand Final glory, it needs its best players out of the medical room and on the park, playing well, leading from the front.
Overseas Players: James Bracey (UK, Gloucestershire)
Season 2017-18: 10th (7 wins, 8 losses, 58 points)
Strength: Short form. Aggressive batting line up with young talented bowling team.
Challenge: Creating depth with such a young group.
Summary: After winning one match in 2016-17, Rockingham Mandurah produced a much better 2017-18 campaign. Although the Mariners finished 10th, the improvement throughout the list was there for all to see. Craig Simmons had a monumental influence on the younger players, while Dane Ugle wound back the clock to produce a brilliant season, culminating in an Olly Cooley Medal. Ugle ended the season with 562 runs and 12 wickets as the competitions best player and pre-eminent all-rounder. With Ugle and Simmons leading the young group and the natural improvement that comes with experience, Rockingham Mandurah could be well placed to sneak into the finals.
Scarborough Season Preview
Overseas Players: Ed Barnard (UK)
Season 2017-18: 14th (4 wins, 11 losses, 40 points)
Strength: Nicholas Maiolo and Josh Phillipe headlining the batting attack.
Challenge: Depth in batting and bowling line ups.
Summary: It was a tough 2017-18 campaign for Scarborough, with the Gulls snaring just four wins for the season. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Scarborough, with Nicholas Maiolo announcing himself to the competition, leading all-comers with a whopping 901 run for the season. The Gulls will be keen to find a batting partner or two for Maiolo, as well as a couple of frontline bowlers to help them climb back up the ladder.
South Perth Season Preview
Overseas Players: Tom Banton (UK)
Season 2017-18: 3rd (8 wins, 7 losses, 78 points)
Strength: Strong settled bowling line up. Two Day specialists.
Challenge: Young batting group getting through the first session. Depth.
Summary: South Perth will be keen to atone for a heartbreaking Preliminary final in 2017-18 after finishing the season in a great position to pounce on a flag. Although the One Day competition didn’t quite go as planned, the Two Day form of the club could not be ignored. Two outright wins helped catapult South Perth to third at the end of the season, which fell just short in the Preliminary final against University. Darius D’Silva, Brooke Guest and Robert Jones all combined beautifully with the bat for South Perth in season 2017-18, while Chris Chellew and Simon Ringrose dominated with the ball. Not much more would need to go right for South Perth to take that next step and push through to a Grand Final berth.
Subiaco Floreat Season Preview
Overseas Players: -
Season 2017-18: 8th (8 wins, 7 losses, 64 points)
Strength: Strong batting line up and batting depth.
Challenge: Bowling depth.
Summary: Subiaco Floreat had somewhat of a transitional season in 2017-18, falling to eighth after winning the Two Day premiership in 2016-17. Calum How and Andrew Holder held the fort for much of the year with the bat, but there wasn’t enough depth to put runs on the board. This was mirrored for the Lions in the bowling attack, with skipper Chris Hansberry leading the charge, but his fellow bowlers struggled to build a partnership with him. Some depth in the batting and bowling line ups would see the Lions shoot back up the ladder, as they have some incredible top-end talent.
Wanneroo Season Preview
Overseas Players: -
Season 2017-18: 15th (5 wins, 10 losses, 38 points)
Strength: Short form of the game and T20 form is strong.
Challenge: Struggling to bat the full 90 overs consistently over the season
Summary: Another tough season for the Roos saw them finish on the lower rungs of the ladder once again. However, their short form cricket should not be ignored, as the Roos stunned everyone by winning the T20 premiership. While the wins were few and far between, they did go on a giant killing run, defeating Claremont Nedlands and South Perth in the space of three rounds, showing that when they are on, they are capable of matching it with the best in the competition. Some batting depth is desperately need if the Roos are to improve this season.
Joondalup Season Preview
Overseas Players: -
Season 2017-18: 9th (6 wins, 7 losses, 2 draws, 60 points)
Strength: Settled, powerful batting line up.
Challenge: Maintaining consistency from match to match.
Summary: Joondalup endured a topsy-turvy season in 2017-18, struggling to maintain consistency throughout its campaign with wins immediately followed by losses. However, the Morgan brothers were a consistent highlight throughout the season, with Garrick and Jaron top scoring most matches, finishing the season with 635 runs and 566 runs respectively. Another depth batsman would be handy for the Centurions, as well as another top line bowler to spread the load from Clinton Hinchliffe and Simon Branston.
Mount Lawley Season Preview
Overseas Players: Callum Taylor (UK)
Season 2017-18: 13th (6 wins, 9 losses, 40 points)
Strength: Even spread of bowlers.
Challenge: Mental toughness
Summary: The Hawks managed to improve last season, jumping up from three wins to six wins in 2017-18. James Newnham and Tom Beaton were the mainstays with the bat, however, they were relied upon too often and if they fell early, the Hawks struggled to produce a winning total. The even spread of bowlers helped to keep the Hawks in matches for long periods, so if the club can produce a few more batsmen to help out the likes of Newnham and Beaton, a rise up the ladder could be on the cards this season.
University Season Preview
Overseas Players: Tyrone Kane (Ireland)
Season 2017-18: 6th (8 wins, 7 losses, 72 points)
Strength: Good core group of young aggressive batsmen. Handy crop of spinners
Challenge: maintain mental discipline in big moments.
Summary: University was possibly one of the surprise packets of last season, jumping up from 13th to sixth to play off in the Two Day Grand Final. In a difficult, hard slog of a match, University fell just short of completing a fairy tale season. Viv Paver and Matthew Birrell were enormous throughout the season with the bat, finishing in the top 10 in the competition for runs scored, while Josh Dallimore and Sean Stuart were superb with the ball. Having had the same core group of players together for a number of years, now is the time to strike for University.
Willetton Season Preview
Overseas Player: Will Rhodes (UK)
Season 2017-18: 2nd (10 wins, 5 losses, 86 points)
Strength: Batting mentality and timing. Strong bowling attack.
Challenge: Maintaining the rage to go one step further.
Summary: Another one of the surprise packets of last season was Willetton, jumping from ninth to second. Two outright wins in the Two Day competition saw the Dragons equal on points with the ladder-leading Tigers, off the back of some brilliant individual performances. Matthew Hanna was exquisite with the ball in hand, finishing the year as the leading wicket taker of the competition with 52. A close loss to Claremont Nedlands in the One Day final should be all the ammunition the Dragons need to go one step further in 2018-19.