The Peel Cavaliers colts will face a tough task when they kick off their Landmark Country Football Championships campaign against the reigning premiers South West Football League, but coach Craig Rakich is adamant his side is ready to take on the best.
The Cavs enter this year's carnival with what Rakich describes as a "more balanced" outfit than previous seasons, and will be eager to claim a grand final berth this time around.
Last time the Cavaliers colts appeared in the final they were thwarted by a kick after the siren from the South West in 2018, with a spirited showing not enough to will them back there last time around.
But this year the side will be hoping a well-structured outfit with plenty of firepower across the ground can help get the job done.
"We've always had plenty of talent in our team, but sometimes it was just focused to one area of the ground," Rakich said.
"This year I feel like we've got the balance right. Our spine looks great and we've got some really good players across all areas of the ground.
"Obviously starting off with the South West is tough, they've been the best side for some time, but I'm really confident in our group.
"We're up to the challenge."
The Cavs had their first chance to play together at the Great Southern Colts Carnival last month, where all-star performances from Andrew Barker, Matthew Tilbee and Bailey Norris helped them to a third-place finish.
Those three will return to the side for the Landmark carnival, along with a string of players who have tasted plenty of league-level footy this season.
Gun Pinjarra forward Craig Milward will again captain the side, while Riley Vidovich, Brody Dalgetty, Kade Armstrong and Nixon Purser will look to hit the ground running.
Rakich said the carnival would provide the colts players with a chance to further themselves both on and off the field.
"It's a great opportunity for these boys to experience a different level of footy, while getting to know more people and build their confidence," he said.
"So many of our guys from last year are in the Cavs league team this year, so the pathways to go further in footy are clearly there."
Peel's colts kick off their carnival at Mandurah's Rushton Park this Thursday, taking on the South West at 11.50am before squaring off with the Northern Suns later in the day.
Their day two games will be played against Great Southern and Regional Districts.
The Mandurah Mail will be bringing you daily wrap-ups of all the action, along with photo galleries. Visit mandurahmail.com.au to keep up-to-date.
Peel Cavaliers 2019 colts side
- Angus Taylor (Centrals)
- Theo Kearing (Waroona)
- Bailey Norris (South Mandurah)
- Riley Vidovich (Pinjarra)
- Isaac Lear (Waroona)
- Andrew Barker (Halls Head)
- Tyler Glands (Centrals)
- Mitch Rohland (Baldivis)
- Connor Russell (Baldivis)
- Brody Dalgetty (Rockingham)
- Kade Armstrong (South Mandurah)
- Dylan Mulcahy (Mandurah)
- Travis Williams (Halls Head)
- Neil Borsi (Centrals)
- Charlie Dann (South Mandurah)
- Liam Richards (Baldivis)
- Cody O'Donnell (Rockingham)
- Nixon Purser (Pinjarra)
- Thomas Dyer (South Mandurah)
- Ben Otto (Rockingham)
- Haiden Mead (Rockingham)
- Michel Hansen (Pinjarra)
- Ryan Paterson (Pinjarra)
- Stirling Moody (Waroona)
- Matthew Tilbee (Waroona)
- Craig Milward (Pinjarra)