Wild Dogs gear up for GCL

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS - By Liam Durkin

Cricket made a re­turn at club level last week­end, with the War­ragul and Dis­trict As­so­ci­a­tion com­menc­ing for an­other sum­mer.

At rep­re­sen­ta­tive level, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s top play­ers will be com­pet­ing for a chance to el­e­vate the WDCA to the top ech­e­lon of Gipp­s­land cricket when the in­ter­league Gipp­s­land Cricket League com­pe­ti­tion be­gins on Sun­day.

With the Wild Dogs play­ing off in the Mel­bourne Coun­try Week divi­sion three grand fi­nal last sum­mer, play­ers and officials are hope­ful the side can trans­late that form into its GCL matches, es­pe­cially against tra­di­tional Gipp­s­land pow­er­houses Sale-Maf­fra and Trar­al­gon Dis­trict.

The league has ap­pointed well-known WDCA fig­ure Norm Berry as its head coach. Berry has a long stand­ing his­tory in lo­cal cricket, dur­ing which time he has stood at the fore­front of many sig­nif­i­cant oc­ca­sions, in­clud­ing um­pir­ing at the Mel­bourne Cricket Ground as well as of­fi­ci­at­ing in the past eight WDCA first grade grand fi­nals.

As part of his role in guid­ing play­ers through­out the GCL sea­son, Berry said his main fo­cus was to in­stall pride back into play­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive cricket, some­thing that has been clearly lack­ing in re­cent sea­sons, ev­i­denced by the demise of the Cen­tral Gipp­s­land Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion, who have with­drawn their rep­re­sen­ta­tive play­ing op­er­a­tions.

“I am very ded­i­cated to mak­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive cricket a priv­i­lege for play­ers and not just a to­ken ges­ture”, he said.

In ad­di­tion, Hal­lora pre­mier­ship and All Gipp­s­land cap­tain Fraser Dun­can will again lead the side, which will in­clude Western Park all-rounder Sam Bat­son, who took a phe­nom­e­nal 55 wick­ets in divi­sion one last sea­son.

Buln Buln sec­re­tary David Ar­mour is on board as team man­ager.

The Wild Dogs first game is on Sun­day against Leon­gatha Dis­trict at Hal­lora.

Ju­nior GCL will also com­mence, with WDCA’s un­der 18 team to take on Bairns­dale at Drouin’s Bell­bird Park.

Un­der 18 team: Kim Drew, Ai­dan Phillips, Joel Bat­son, Rhys Ge­orge, An­gus Emery, Matt Bow, Davis McCon­nell, Jai New­combe, Wil Cole, Jerry Whi­b­ley, Will Robert­son, Jack­son Caddy.

The un­der 16 team will travel, tak­ing on Sale-Maf­fra at Bun­dalaguah.

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