WHK whiz Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill is confident his side is capable of winning another City of Orange Touch Association mixed division one crown, but the road to victory will be a lot harder in 2012-13 than it has been in the past.
Nine sides will contest this summer’s mixed division one competition.
That’s up from just four sides in 2011-12.
“It’s heaps better. Last year we played the same side every three weeks,” Gibbs-O’Neill said.
He said the show of strength in the mixed competition this year was in numbers.
And he believes any side can win it.
Davo’s Tippers, Royal Hotel Ace, Nothing Suss, Bel Air Carpets, The Razzle Dazzlers, Zuked Royal, Bills Giants and Powell’s Adventurers join WHK in this year’s competition.
The side WHK defeated 7-2 in last year’s decider, Mitch Green, has split into three sides this season.
“There’s a big turn out this season,” Gibbs-O’Neill said.
“The competition has nine sides, the last time I spoke to Mandy (Moore).
“It’s a bigger competition but that’ll make for a strong, tougher division one competition. It should be good.”
Gibbs-O’Neill said all of last year’s grand final winning WHK side - which included the likes of Tash Rudd, Tori Moore, Rod Moore, Mandy Moore and Sam Hill - will be back to defend their crown this season, with the addition of one other.
“It’s exactly the same side except we’ve got Tori’s little brother Ryan in there this year,” he said.
“It’s just fun. It’s a family-built side. They’ve been playing for a lot longer than I’ve been around for. I think this is my fourth year in the side.
“It’s just good to play around, and we all play rep touch so we run the same moves. We’re all on the same page.”
The COTA mixed competition begins today at Country Club Oval with the open men’s and women’s season starting on Thursday night.