Old hands guide new-look Warriors
Last time Western Australia won the domestic first-class competition, Tom Moody was the captain. This season he will attempt to break the drought in his new position as the Warriors' coach. The previous success was so long ago - 1998-99 - that the players didn't even take home the Pura Cup. Instead they collected the Sheffield Shield.
Moody's role has changed since that summer but several of his old team-mates - Michael Hussey, Adam Gilchrist and Brad Hogg - are still turning out for the state in between international duties. Importantly for the Warriors' chances in 2007-08 another veteran of that triumph, Justin Langer, can put in a full season with no more Test responsibilities.
"Justin has talked to me about the fact that he wants to taste that success again at domestic level," Moody said. "It has been a long wait. When he talks about past successes in the dressing-room it's infectious.
"Justin's availability is certainly going to be a significant advantage for us, having someone of his class and experience around the team will be very valuable. He's obviously very hungry to have success."
Langer will not be captaining the squad this summer as that honour has gone to Marcus North. Western Australia have a relatively new chief executive in Graeme Wood, who took over from Tony Dodemaide in March, and with Moody bringing international experience to the coaching ranks there is a fresh feel about the Warriors.
"In any organisation when you have those changes it does spark things into action and the enthusiasm of the group is at its highest," Moody said. "I can't make any judgment about last season but we've worked hard this pre-season preparing. I'm very much looking forward to it."
Western Australia had a mixed campaign in 2006-07, narrowly missing the final in the FR Cup and the Twenty20 competition but stalling at fifth in the Pura Cup. There were some changes among the squad's fringe members in the off-season with Peter Worthington, Andrew James, Scott Meuleman and Tim Macdonald making room for Trent Kelly, Danny McLauchlan, Theo Doropoulos and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
The attack will again be led by Ben Edmondson and Steve Magoffin, who were arguably the most dangerous new-ball duo in the country last summer, while Hogg and Aaron Heal will carry the spin responsibilities. Depth in the batting will be key with the national selectors certain to monitor Chris Rogers, Adam Voges and North, any of whom could receive a call-up to join Hussey and Gilchrist in Australian colours.
Losing Rogers, who topped the Pura Cup run tally last season with 1202 at 70.70, would be an especially big blow for the side but Moody would be thrilled anyway. "A successful year for me will be balancing the success of Western Australian cricket and the success of our internationals," Moody said. "If we can introduce one or two new ones on the international stage in the next six months or so, that's a successful season."
Captain Marcus North
Coach Tom Moody
Squad David Bandy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Brett Dorey, Theo Doropoulos, Ben Edmondson, Sean Ervine, Adam Gilchrist, Shawn Gillies, Aaron Heal, Clint Heron, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Mathew Inness, Trent Kelly, Justin Langer, Steve Magoffin, Shaun Marsh, Danny McLauchlan, Marcus North, Luke Pomersbach, Chris Rogers, Luke Ronchi, Adam Voges, Darren Wates. Rookies Liam Davis, Chris Hansberry, Michael Johnson, Matthew Johnston, Josh Mangan, Patrick Molinari, Christopher Wood.
2006-07 results Pura Cup 5th, FR Cup 3rd, Twenty20 3rd.
Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo