There's no shortage of motivation at Thorton after their disappointing exit from the Maitland first grade cricket semi-finals capitulating in a day to eventual premiers Northern Suburbs.
But the major priority going into season 2021-22 for skipper Matt Gabriel and his teammates is the relief after the COVID lockdown of getting back on the park and having some fun playing cricket.
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"This isn't going to be a normal season after the long lockdown. Family is going to be the number one priority for a lot of blokes and there's going to be a lot of times when you can't call on your best team," Gabriel said.
"I know I've got a few weekends already when I'm not going to be available, but I owe it to the family after the past few months."
While priorities will be rearranged at times, the desire for success is still there and Gabriel believes the side will be better for the experience of last year's semi-final loss.
"Like I said afterwards, it was full credit to Norths the way they played that day, but we had a whole day to play with and we couldn't do it.
"We cracked under pressure a bit as we haven't been in those situations very often in the last decade or so. We haven't been part of finals too often so I think it was a bit of nerves.
"But I think we are a lot better for it. We will have a lot more of an idea how to handle it if we get in the same sort of situation this year.
"We've tried to take as many positives as we could out of it, even though there wasn't many."
The team which was second only for most of the season to City United, who were dominant in 2020-21 until they were also upset by a red-hot Norths, will remain largely intact.
"We've lost Chris Archer full time. He is not playing but will be available if we are short," Gabriel said. "He is a very handy player, but I'd rather use a few of the younger players.
"Peter Gabriel, my old man has had surgery on his ankle so he is not going to be available until after Christmas.
"Other than that everything is pretty much the same as last year, which is good."
Teenage pace bowler Nick Bourke will be given the chance to stake his claim opening the bowling in first grade.
"He filled in for us a couple of times last year and bowled really well and also batted on later in the order and showed he can handle it," Gabriel said of 17-year-old Burke.
"I'm really looking at him opening the bowling or first change. Last year my brother Jono opened the bowling and batting but if my old man is out then he will have to be the keeper.
"I do have boys who can fill that spot but I really wouldn't mind giving him an opportunity with the new ball.
"He played the last game before the semi-final and it was actually the best bowling I had seen for some time for a young bloke."
Fifteen-year-old batsman Riley Petrie will also get a chance in first grade.
"He filled in batting in the top five for us a couple of times. He didn't really get any big runs but he held his own, so he is another one I'm looking at," Gabriel said.