Season of new beginnings

ADTA - As season 2012/2013 kicks off in the Ararat and District Tennis Association tomorrow, six teams prepare themselves for a hopeful winning start.

Taking to the court a fortnight earlier than the previous season, the opening round for all teams is crucial, and could make or break a year.

The two casual outfits of the association, Great Western and Landsborough, will be out to set the pace early on the highway courts.

Great Western, along with several new faces, is keen to make amends for last season, where it took home the wooden spoon.

This is possible with the inclusion of Jarrod Potter, and Adam and Libby Carnaby, adding depth and helping out skipper Kacey Kindred, Simone Bullock and co.

However Landsborough, also with a number of recruits, won't be letting the home side off easily and should provide it with an evenly matched challenge.

Captains Karl Scott and Claire Monaghan will lead their 'Borough' brigade into the action, hoping the likes of Liam Scott and Kira Payne can deliver.

Continuing the drive down the highway, Buangor play host to last season's grand finalist Crowlands, in what is going to be a fierce showdown.

Crowlands, led by Paul and Kate Vance, and the many Boatmans, have a flag in their sights and cannot afford to drop early games like this.

The problem arising for Crowlands is that Buangor is an unknown, with talk of a handy recruiting off-season. Only time will tell here.

Ian Maconachie, along with wife Susan, has the Buangor crew under his control and is eager for an opening round upset. This could be too close to call.

Elmhurst has the honours of playing reigning premier Ararat.

For Ararat it is a different story this season with only one team taking to the court and numerous players set to make their debut for the big club.

Whether this will impact its court performance or not will be discovered by 6pm tomorrow, but from all accounts Elmhurst should be licking its lips at a chance to knock over the powerhouse.

Rachel Murray has stepped up as the ladies' leader, helping out old warhorses Mal Boatman and Neil Murray, who could be the difference with the racquet.

Ararat's strength lies with its men, featuring strong up and coming players in Sam Gason, Ryley Hamilton and Oakley Gason. However the ladies, on their day, can be just as damaging, with Claire Harricks, Carolyn Matthews and Jacqui Ralph set for a big day.

This should be a cracker of a match right until the very last set.

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