After a long and arduous winter, the Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association finally returns tomorrow.
However, this season will have one less team after Echuca was unable to form a side, leaving Numurkah Warriors, Tatura Robins, Shepparton Hornets, Bulls and Lakers to duel over 13 rounds.
Association president Mark Mills admitted his disappointment in losing such a quality club like Echuca, but can’t wait to get the season started.
‘‘We are all looking forward to it, we have waited a while, we had our trials and now the season is back under way,’’ Mills said.
‘‘We never like losing sides, but in saying that, the competition is still very strong this season and I think the Bulls might be the team to beat.’’
Bulls and Hornets will go head-to-head to open the season, while the Robins will make the trek to face the Warriors.
‘‘They are going to be some tough games,’’ Mills said.
‘‘The Hornets are the reigning premiers after they beat Tatura last year, while the Bulls bowed out in the semi-finals.’’
Budding star Eliza Long joins the Bulls’ line-up after coming over from Bendigo and the former 2012 Bendigo Junior Open and Association Championship winner is expected to take the competition by storm.
‘‘She comes with a fair pedigree, and she has had recent success here at the Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club,’’ Mills said.
Long caused an upset at the Shepparton Lawn Easter tournament in April, beating five-time champion Carolyn McGann in straight sets.
Then 21 years old, Long claimed her maiden Easter title, winning 6-2, 6-2.