After claiming both the one-day and two-day titles last season, Easts are set to enter the new Armidale Cricket season without some familiar faces.
The departures of quick Tyson Burey, all-rounder Matt Jackson and opening batsman Dean Moore leaves significant holes in their side.
“We are fairly light on numbers this year. We have lost a fair few boys so that is a bit of a shame but it is one of those things like a lot of the clubs are going through,” captain Sam Uphill said.
“Tyson and Jacko always said they would go back [to Guyra] if they got a first grade side, if they didn't go last year they were always going to go this year.
“There's no hard feelings, it will probably be good for the comp.”
Along with Uphill, a strong core group of Todd Francis, Clarrie Moran and Jackson Gwynne will still line up for Easts.
It is unclear who will be lining up alongside them but Uphill believes they will still prove a formidable line-up.
“We picked up a guy called Cameron Ashe and he is a pretty handy bat so if I could bat him in the middle order and maybe someone like Clarrie Moran in the one-dayers might open and someone like Whack might open in the two-dayers,” he said.
“We would just have to see what the numbers are like to see what our batting order is.
“Nath Porter has done a bit of opening at the top of the order too.
“We might just throw someone up there that we can blood for second grade and see what they can do.
“As long as we can get a team on the park we will be competitive but it will probably take the first couple of weeks to figure out an order.”
This Saturday will mark the first day of the two-day matches where Easts play host to last season’s newcomers, Guyra.
After a rocky start in the 2017-18 season, Guyra emerged as a darkhorse as the competition progressed.
“I think Guyra will be the team to beat this year if they have got as strong side as they have been saying,” he said.
“They will be a pretty handy side.
“I think they were very unlucky not to make the two-day finals [last season] to be honest and if they made the finals I didn't want to play them.
“They were the sort of team that if they turned up they would knock you over.”
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