The Goulburn Region started its Inter-regional Country Championships title defence yesterday.
More than 30 players travelled to Wodonga for the three-day tournament against nine other regions in the hope of again claiming the top gong.
Last year the Goulburn group pulled off a phenomenal upset, winning the trophy for the first time since 1960.
Goulburn region co-ordinator Heather Lees has again assembled an all-star cast, trying to make sure it is not another 56-year wait for glory.
The competition caters for all ages with Shepparton’s Zach Ranson and Remi Serra as well as Euroa’s Alanna Birch and Yarrawonga’s Fraser Bennet all contesting the 12-and-under competition as the youngest of the 33-player side.
At the other end of the spectrum, some of the long-serving members of the region’s tennis community in Bruce Ferguson, Damian Smith, Leanne Moore and Sharon Clement are also doing their bit in the seniors 50-plus division.
Many are in fine form having used the past week’s Goulburn Valley JT/AMT Championships to help them be in the best possible touch.
Having been crowned the women’s singles champion on Thursday in a thrilling contest against Geelong’s Olivia Ryan, Shepparton’s Hope Curtis-McDonald is wearing the purple shirt in the open division.
She will be joined by good friend Brooke Starling when the duo stand side-by-side in the women’s doubles, with Starling also contesting the singles.
Jarrod Bingham claimed the doubles title at the championship and will again be prominent in the men’s singles with Shepparton’s Sam McKenzie-McHarg also integral to the side’s chances.
Barwon and Loddon Campaspe always prove tough competition, with Goulburn halting an eight-year winning streak by Barwon to take out last year’s title.