CHEVROLET Warriors captain Davy Jacobs says the time for excuses is over and winning a trophy this season has become priority number one.
The Warriors start their season with a Momentum One-day Cup fixture against the Knights in Kimberley next Sunday.
It has been three seasons since the Warriors won South Africa's limited overs double. There has been no silverware since and that does not sit well with Jacobs.
"We have more experienced players now. Last year was a rebuilding phase. This year, those guys have more experience. So there are no excuses this year. I'm not going to say we are going to compete or we want to do well. We are supposed to win trophies this year and that will be our goal," Jacobs said.
"Bales [Ryan Bailey] is here as well. He knows how to win trophies. He's won a lot of trophies with his previous team [Knights] so we are going to bank on his experience as well. But there are a lot of guys who need to step up and this is the year. There is nothing we can blame this year."
Jacobs says the team looks far more balanced than last year because of the fact that he is over his injuries and will be able to perform the wicketkeeper-batsman role.
"Our bowlers will be better this season. Last year our balances were out. We didn't play enough batters. One of our reasons was because I couldn't keep wicket. So we had to play an extra wicketkeeper and an extra bowler here and there and that messed up everything.
"In the past we got used to having an extra spot."
Jacobs hopes the players the Warriors blooded last season will use that experience to good effect.
"The younger guys in the squad like [Christiaan] Jonker and Aya [Gqamane] have been around for a while and they made massive contributions last year.
"Jonker was our player of the tournament in the 20/20 and Aya was CSA's Domestic Newcomer of the Year.
"I still feel the responsibility lies with the senior players. If a younger player wins us a game it's almost a bonus."
Jacobs says he has recovered from the injuries that kept him on the sidelines.
"I had a shoulder op directly after our season. I also got injured in the Caribbean, so I've had lot of rehab on my ankle and on my shoulder. But I'm good to go now and as of tomorrow I'll be going at it 100%."
ýMeanwhile, the Warriors beat Border by 77 runs in their pre-season friendly at Grey High yesterday.
The Warriors made 296 for six off their allotted 50 overs with Michael Price scoring a superb 104 off 111 balls.
Christiaan Jonker (48), Davy Jacobs (45) and Wayne Parnell (40 not out, off just 28 balls), kept the momentum going throughout.
Border's top order dawdled and effectively played themselves out of the game as they replied with 219 all out in the final over.
It was disappointing to see them not show much intent and the contest died.
Border's Burton de Wett made 48 off 55 balls and Bevan Bennett 63 off 107 deliveries.
Jon-Jon Smuts took four for 33 in nine overs.