Arorangi, a village with a proud cricketing history and plenty of trophies in the cabinet, is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to make the playoffs this year.
The team failed to shine in the past couple of seasons and at times struggled to make top four playoffs. However, captain Apii Mamanu says they have what it takes to turn the tables around this season.
The team does not lack talent, has experience and the kind of winning attitude that is needed to make the top four, he says.
Red Backs have already started their pre-season training to ensure they start well this season.
“We have been putting our great training facilities into good use with pre-season training since June and we have developed clear plans about how we would like to play our cricket and how our batting and bowling line ups will look for the season,” Mamanu says.
One of the Red Backs players to look out for this season is Denne Bourke, he says.
“He bowls great lines and has been bowling quick in training. While he had a good season last year, we are expecting even more out of Bourke this season.
“If he comes hard, he provides us with a deadly opening bowling option capable of scaring even the best batters in the competition.”
The Red Backs have also welcomed 13-year-old Henry Mamanu, who is said to be an exciting prospect for the club.
The team has experienced players in Allister Webb, Haimona Browne (vice-captain), Pare Rongokea and brothers, Andrew and Ronnie Forbes.
Cook Islands Cricket Association (CICA) chief executive officer Alister Stevic says with the mixture of youth and new players in the side, the Red Backs are likely to be serious contenders for a top four placing this season.
The team also has huge corporate support this year with sponsors Palm Grove, Reefside, Aroa Tractor Services, The Motor Centre and Pacific Resort backing the Red Backs’ 2015 campaign.
The Red Backs will start their season against Muri at Nukupure Park on Saturday, September 5. Other clubs participating in the 2015 Men’s Rarotonga Cricket season include Nikao, Takuvaine, Tupapa (I and II), Matavera, Turangi, Muri and Titikaveka.
All men’s matches begin at 3.15pm.