Today's trial between the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs and Maitland Pickers at Kurri Kurri sportsground has been cancelled due to the rain and wet ground conditions.
The Maitland District Cricket Association executive about 11.30am that it had made a decision to abandon all matches scheduled for today due to the weather.
The decision affects the first day of first and second grade semi-finals and all scheduled finals in 3rd to 5th grades and A to D grades.
The level of excitement is building as the Maitland Pickers prepare for Saturday's first trial of the season when they travel to Kurri Kurri to take on the Bulldogs.
"It will be a good challenge to see where we are. We've still got a long way to go until round one so I won't read too much into anything," Pickers coach Luke Dorn said this week.
"But it will be good to see a few boys have a run around and I know the boys are keen to get out there and have a trot on the field."
There's never any shortage of motivation against the Bulldogs, so last year's loss to Kurri Kurri in last year's elimination final will not feature heavily.
"They are a formidable side out at Kurri, they are very physical and very dogged in the way they play and you have to be ready from minute one to minute 80 against them," Dorn said.
Overall Dorn is pleased with the preseason to date. He has moved on from the disappointment of losing star forward recruit Tyrone Amey, who moved to Queensland, and then the shock of a freak eye accident to back-rower Tylar Carter.
Carter is expected back midway through the season after successful surgery.
"From a selfish point of view it was disappointing for myself and the club to lose Tyrone because he had been great with us through the preseason but you can't knock the bloke for going and doing what he is doing.
"It takes a lot of bravery from him to pack up and go on there to try and have a go.
"It leaves us in a bit of a hole and then with Carts' freak accident it has compounded it a bit.
"Carts is one of our leaders and one of the guys who pushes himself and is a big part of our group. Hopefully he gets back on deck as soon as possible.
"It leaves us in a bit of a hole, a bit underdone but as I said we've got five weeks to round one and we've got plenty of time to make up the time we may have lost."
The Pickers other two key recruits prop Sam Andrews and NRL experienced centre Matt Allwood are both excelling on the track and impressive everyone with their professionalism and commitment.
"Sam has been excellent he is a good leader. He has been around for a while, he knows footy and has been driving everyone to go with him and other players have stepped up and a pushing him," he said.
"That's created a good environment. The guys who have been here are now at a stage when they demand commitment from each other.
"It the second year with me and the boys are aware of my ideas they have come with a real intent to train very hard.
"It's been a very good preseason so far."
Dorn said he had been impressed with the under-19 and younger players coming through the system.
"I don't want to single out anyone from last year's under-19 group, but we'll give some guys a run on the weekend. They'll get out on the field and have a chance to step up into first grade and see the difference.
"Through their success last year and through their ability to train hard and push it they will get a crack in first grade in the trials and get a good opportunity to maybe snag a spot."
Dorn said he would be looking for improvements across the board in progressing the club's push into the semi-finals.
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