A season spent on the sidelines has given Angela Reakes a new perspective on the Women's National Cricket League, one she's hoping to bring to her new leadership role with the ACT Meteors.
Reakes was unveiled as the Meteors' captain for the 2020-21 WNCL season on Wednesday, taking over from club veteran Erin Osborne.
She'll be joined by Erica Kershaw in the leadership group, while Jono Dean has re-signed as the Meteors' head coach for the next two seasons.
The 29-year-old all-rounder missed last year's WNCL season and the Melbourne Stars' Big Bash campaign through injury, tearing her Achilles tendon in a training mishap.
It was a cruel blow for one of the Meteors' finest but Reakes has found a silver lining as she edges closer to a cricket comeback.
"It was massive. I'd never really missed a game of cricket in my whole career so it was really nice to get some perspective on the game and take some time on tactics," Reakes said.
"It's probably led me to this role. It's awesome, I didn't enjoy the time off but I'm looking forward to getting back on the park this year.
"It's a massive honour [to be named captain] and I was actually quite surprised. Osborne has done a terrific job over the years so I've got some big shoes to fill there, but with the help of Kershaw and a new coach we've got a steady ship to sail."
Dean was thrust into the Meteors' head coaching role with only two matches remaining last season, taking over from former mentor David Drew.
The Meteors finished fifth on the ladder after the former Adelaide Striker led them to back-to-back wins against Tasmania and Western Australia.
The eventual move into a head coaching position has been in the back of Dean's mind for a few years, having been in the Meteors set-up as a batting consultant and assistant.
Dean put his career as a public servant on hold to pursue cricket coaching, a risk he says has panned out well so far.
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"I have thought about this moment for the past couple of years and for the opportunity to present itself, I'm really excited," Dean said.
"We've got a lot of things to work and build on from last season, but I think people tend to forget we were quite close to winning a lot of other games.
"There's a fair bit to work on but the girls are closer than they think. It's just about fine tuning and enhancing skills across the board."
The WNCL season is expected to start in late September, with round one and two likely to be played either side of the Women's Big Bash League.
Dean, who is also an assistant coach of Sydney Thunders' WBBL team, says the split season presents another challenge for the Meteors but is better spread out than previous years.
"I don't mind the spread out season, it's another challenge and one we'll deal with when we get to it," Dean said.
"We're playing the same amount of games but evenly spread over the season, which I think in previous years we've had a bit more of a break between games.
"You tend to lose a little bit of momentum and it's challenging getting that back. So, I'm excited about continually playing cricket."