Wild Dogs gear up for GCL
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been clearly lacking in recent seasons, evidenced by the demise of the Central Gippsland Cricket Association, who have withdrawn their representative playing operations.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.