All new team, but same ti­tle the aim

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

New cap­tain, new coach, new star play­ers — but the same ti­tlewin­ning Ba­rooga team.

Last year’s Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion A-grade win­ners are raring to go, keen to de­fend the lo­cal crown.

And los­ing the man who lifted the 2017 cup as cap­tain, Shane Healy, to a Gee­long club is just a speed bump, said Ba­rooga’s pres­i­dent.

The club will again place a fo­cus on its ju­nior de­vel­op­ment and, in the process, has named two young­sters as its key play­ers for com­plet­ing the dou­ble this sea­son.

One of those play­ers had a huge hand in se­cur­ing last year’s ti­tle against De­niliquin Rhi­nos, smash­ing 116 not out in the fi­nal.

In los­ing its 2017 cap­tain, the club has gained three play­ers.

One is a re­turn­ing player from an­other club, the sec­ond has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in coun­try leagues while the third is a gun prospect from around the area.

And with the de­par­ture of the cap­tain came the an­nounce­ment Matthew Dim­ble would lead the line this sea­son.

Mick But­ler is to be the man­ager and coach.

Club pres­i­dent Wes Sut­ton said things were look­ing up for the club with just days left un­til the open­ing round match away against Nathalia.

‘‘We’re aim­ing to be strong again, ba­si­cally we want to de­fend our ti­tle,’’ he said.

‘‘In the off-sea­son we lost some im­por­tant play­ers — our cap­tain from last year Shane has gone to Gee­long and we’ve lost Riyaad Henry, an im­port from over­seas, to an­other club.’’ ‘‘They’re our two big losses.’’

Sut­ton said Ba­rooga had all the tools to go back-to-back; only time would tell if they could pull it off.

‘‘We had a huge high­light in the last sea­son with young Ri­ley Gow scor­ing 116 in the fi­nal,’’ he said.

‘‘We have three new re­cruits this year as well; Trent Batch­e­lor (from Gee­long), Jordy An­thony (from Jer­ilderie), and Matthew Jench (from Al­bury).’’

The prize of those pick­ups is Jench, for­merly of Belvoir Cricket Club in Al­bury, and Sut­ton said he would play a star­ring role this sea­son as a fast-bowl­ing all­rounder.

Batch­e­lor has played at many coun­try league clubs and was most re­cently ply­ing his trade in Gee­long; An­thony last sea­son played for Jer­ilderie’s B-grade, but is keen to try his hand in the premier grade.

‘‘He’s only 17 or 18 and wanted to have a crack at premier cricket, but he looks ex­cit­ing,’’ Sut­ton said.

Same but dif­fer­ent: A new-look Ba­rooga will aim to see a re­turn to last sea­son’s win­ning ways and de­fend its crown.

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