All new team, but same title the aim
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.