The ACT Meteors hope a new captain-coach combination and three fresh faces will give them the grit they need to become a Women's National Cricket League challenger this season.
The Meteors unveiled their 14-strong squad for the upcoming WNCL season on Friday morning, led by returning players Erin Osborne, Angela Reakes, Maitlan Brown and Katie Mack.
A new captain-coach combination will be announced next week as the Meteors look to bounce back from a rollercoaster 2019-2020 season.
The Meteors finished fifth on the ladder and Jono Dean replaced David Drew as coach with only two games to go. Osborne has been captain since 2017, while Reakes has had stints in the leadership group.
Reakes is one of eight players to sign a contract extension with the club, a move Cricket ACT High Performance Manager Olivia Thornton says was made to provide stability from the senior playing group.
"We're confident we have a really good crew on board who hopefully can get the job done this year because we certainly have unfinished business from last season," Thornton said.
"With Ange back in, that boosts us. People like Maitlan, Erin and Zoe Cook had times out with injury as well, so it was a bit of a rollercoaster.
"We have a really nice balance of senior and youth coming through. For instance, Erin has played more than 100 games for Australia and that's significant when you are blooding some young players within your squad.
"We're hoping to have a fit, healthy and happy squad, that are prepared to give their all on the field."
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The Meteors welcome 23-year-old batter Rebecca Carter, Olivia Porter and Allison McGrath to the squad, with the latter offsetting the departure of Anna Lanning to Victoria.
Carter is a top-order batter and scored 970 runs at 46.19 for Box Hill in last year's Premier Cricket season, a feat the Meteors are hoping she can replicate at the next level.
"She was certainly on our radar and spent a bit of time with our squad prior to signing," Thornton said.
"She was keen to get a sense of our culture as well and that's something we're really proud of.
"She's a left hander, top-order batter and it's her first toe in the water for senior cricket, so we're excited to have her on board."
Porter is considered a future leader of the club having been captain of the Universities Cricket Club in Sydney, at just 18 years old.
The bowler came through the NSW metropolitan pathway and was a replacement player on Sydney Thunder's WBBL team last season.
"She's a fiery, young bowler and a competitor. We're keen to continue to recruit those who are willing to give their all on the field in no matter what capacity, bat or ball," Thornton said.
"She was captain of her Sydney Premier Cricket club and at 18, that's significant for us in terms of taking on that role from a young age.
"For a long term leadership point of view, those people who have had those experiences it's something we can work on with her as well."
ACT METEORS 2020-21 SQUAD
Maitlan Brown, Zoe Cooke, Nicola Hancock, Amy Yates, Carly Leeson, Matilda Lugg, Erin Osborne, Olivia Porter, Rebecca Carter, Katie Mack, Angela Reakes, Madeline Penna, Erica Kershaw, Allison McGrath