The 2014/15 season of the EKPL kicks off this week with the group stages of the League Cup.
The tie of the night goes to the Group D match with back to back holders Hustlers taking on old rivals Top Guns. League Champions Hustlers will be looking to get their campaign off to a good start as they bid to be the first team to win the trophy three times in a row, however it won't be an easy ride against the Top Guns, who always seems to get a positive result against Stevie Kelly's team at least once a season.
Key player: Stevie McCrimmond - This match could hinge on his performance as he will no doubt have a point to prove and will look to turn it on against his old team.
In section A, group favourites Murray travel to face the Cuesters. The Murray pushed for the title until the last couple of weeks last season, and despite losing one or two players, they will be favourites to topple the Cuesters. Darren Greer's team won't bother with the underdog tag however, after upsetting the odds on a few occasions last year. They will be especially hoping new signing Tam McCluskey (previously with the Buck's Head) inspires them to a win in this one.
Elsewhere, the EKPL welcomes the Hotshots back in to the league with Titch taking the helm once again. Not much is know about their full squad at this point, with a few old faces rumoured to be coming back into the league, but their experience will no doubt see them compete closely against the Aces. The Aces have lost their talisman Stevie Buchanan this season, and may need to look to replace him if their are to maintain their mid table status.
In Group B, league runner's up Entertainers will be out for revenge against the Hunters side which effectively cost them the league last year. With just three games remaining and three points ahead, the 'tainers could even afford a draw at home against the Hunters to set them up for their third title in a row, however Chris Main's side upset all the odds and pulled out an 8-6 win. It was the second year in a row the Hunters had a major say in the title, after they upset the Hustlers the year previous.
Elsewhere the Greenhills look to blood new signings Tam McGuire and Brian Dempster as they take on the Tower. Having finished runner's up in consecutive seasons in this tournament, the 'hills will be desperate to break the hoodoo and finally bring some major silverware back to the Greenhills for the first time.
Group C, sees a closer runner for the tie of the night when the Diamonds take on Club 72. The story in this one will see ex diamonds Jamie "Jamie" Thom, and joint POTY winner Lee Crawford returning to their old stomping ground for the first time. After some close battles last year, it remains to be seen if the Diamonds can maintain their consistency after losing two of their key players.
Another team having lost two key players is the Shooters. Despite home advantage, they face a tough task against an always improving Langlands team. With two other tough teams in the group, this is a must win for both teams to have a chance of going through.
Full fixtures as follows:
Cuesters v Murray
Murray Hotshots v Whitehills Aces
Entertainers v Hunters
Tower v Greenhills
Greenhills Diamonds v Club 72
Greenhills Shooters v Langlands Legion
Hustlers v Top Guns
Team X v Greenhills Sharks