It really did further whet the appetite for what lies in store and had me looking in the diary at exactly how many days and weeks it is until I have the pleasure of game wheels touching down on Accra soil.
Well, I did instinctively let out a verbal ‘ouch’ and accompany wince when the fixtures for the men senior, women and Juniors’ were released.
Defending Champions and record holders Braves of CEPS, Tema Youth and Police Service will engage in an epic dogfight to finish in the top spot.
There was already huge pressure and expectations on CEPS and this only ramps that up even further.
It won’t be easy, although their experience and especially that of head coach Brimah Lawah could be priceless.
On the other hand, what a baptism of fire on a regional stage for both Panthers and Holy Family. Both teams will be holding the implausible dream of matching up to the standard set by CEPS and closes challengers Tema Youth and Police Service.
Panthers have some decent players, but I am not too clear in my mind what they can bring to the table with a burden of weight on their shoulders rising by the days leading to the start of the championship on April 24.
For Holy Family, they will have a desire to advance, but can perhaps play with less pressure than Panthers and could revel in a role upsetting their rivals.
They have a few up-an-coming stars and a nice balance. If they don’t make the latter stages, they have the mitigation of being in the toughest phase and if they win at least six games, it will be even be more impressive.
That is of course providing that there no upset from rank outsiders Magic.
However, outside the obligatory platitudes about opponents, he knows other teams will come gun blazing, with an eye firmly gazed on their trophy and crush their dominance.
But the stark reality is that they are the irresistible favourites to win the title and may even do so in a record time.
CEPS are experimenting to some extent and have one eye on how this competition helps them to build for international tournaments, which is their headline target. They over-achieved when they sneaked into top position at an eight-club tournament in Liberia last month.
There is always the mouth-watering and eargerly-awaited clash between Braves and Tema Youth – which will draw the numbers to the Aviation Social Centre.
Only Braves can’t obviously play on reputation alone and still must do business to face-up to that particular short straw.
The Lebanon frontcourt poses a big platform, but Tema Youth can attempt to match up against them.
Fir are admittedly a tricky proposition as they have proved in the past but should be an open affair this year and will be looking to put their eggs in the Greater Accra basket.
I think Tema Youth are the real winners here and if they play to their full potential, they could finish second behind CEPS.
Coaches of the various teams have a brilliant chance to continue their momentum. But rather interestingly, the fixtures has shifted Magic anticipated status of being a potential underdog, to that of suddenly being expected to progress fairly well and this is a dynamic that could change the mentality within the locker room – and not necessarily for the better.
A shorter tournament and the new system will inevitably make it more intense which is terrific.
The only issue is that with CEPS still head and shoulders above anyone else, this remains a championship focused on who will take second place.
Bring it on!