Clubs recruit well for cricket
The promotion of Jindivick and return of Neerim District to division one headline the changes for season 2018-19 in Warragul District Cricket Association.
Having held ambitions to progress to division one cricket in recent seasons, Jindivick’s build up which saw it highly competitive across all grades last season has seen the Jumping Jacks reach their desired destination.
A bevy of recruits over the off-season indicates they won’t be just making up the numbers.
Neerim District will return to the top grade after topping the division two ladder, having dropped back for a season.
Longwarry has fallen victim to the change, dropping back to division two cricket after just the one win in the top-grade last season.
The changes will see division one return to an eight-team competition, eliminating the need for a bye as per last season.
The top three divisions will commence on Saturday, with the lower senior grades to begin the next week.
The juniors will begin with a T20 gala day on Sunday, October 14 to kick off its preChristmas T20 competition.
Last season: Premiers Buln Buln will be pushing to make a return to the top step in season 2018/19.
The Lyrebirds have made some key signings to a largely unchanged side that took last year’s division one premiership.
The club will be looking to further strengthen across all grades under premiership winning coach Bryce Monahan.
Young English cricketer Jack Paull has resigned following a successful 20178-18, which saw the opening batsman take out the Alan Rankin medal for best player in the grand final and Peter Heywood medal for best player at senior country week.
Jackson Noonan and Jack Armour will return to the club sharp following successful stints in England.
In a further boost, Wilson Pollock and Daniel Hamilton return to the club. An attacking left hander, Pollock returns following a coaching stint at Poowong-Loch while Hamilton is also regarded as a power hitter, returning following a stint in the Traralgon district.
Last season: Semi finalist Not satisfied with its semi-final appearance last season, Drouin will be out to seriously challenge for the premiership.
The Hawks have also recruited well. The club has appointed Sam Van Der Zalm senior coach.
A middle order aggressive batsman who also bowls some off-spin, Van Der Zalm led Devon Meadows to the West Gippsland premiership last season.
Van Der Zalm is no stranger to the competition, having coached Iona to a premiership in 2015.
Talented batsman and crafty bowler Jim Glen will assist as assistant coach following coaching stints at Glen Alvie and Nar Nar Goon-Maryknoll.
Dylan Serong has crossed from Longwarry, with the young middle order batsman and offspinner looking to continue playing in division one.
Last season: Fifth Having broken through to play finals cricket in 2016-17, Ellinbank fell devastatingly short last season to miss the finals by percentage.
The club will be looking to return to finals cricket under new coach Ben Spicer.
Spicer joins the club from Koo wee rup, where he played a part in their back-to-back premierships.
Nick Fairbank, who has led improvement at the club over previous seasons, has stepped down as coach but will remain at the club.
Last season: Runner up A perennial finalist in recent seasons, Hallora can’t be discounted from premiership calculations.
Last season: Runner up in division two Having achieved its ambition of progressing to division one, the Jumping Jacks have put in measures to be competitive at the top level with several key signings over the off-season.
Leading the signings is overseas player Dananja Madushanka, a bowling all-rounder who can hold his own with the bat in the middle order.
Zac Chaplin comes to the club having played representative cricket throughout his career. Last season he was captain of West Gippsland’s under 21 squad.
Talented left arm quick Thom Jones has joined from Pakenham, while the club is hoping for big things from Jordan Larkman who returns after a season off due to work commitments.
Club leading wicket taker from 2016/17 Shannon Mitchell has also returned.
The Jumping Jacks have also added experienced campaigner Craig Boswell and Jarrat Eastburn. The pair have spent the past two seasons as captain-coach of Narre Warren and Cheltenham Park respectively.
The juniors have also been bolstered, with Dave Nobles appointed development coach following a similar role at Beaconsfield.
Last season: Premier in division two Neerim District return to the top grade following a successful season in division two.
With a young team steadily on the improve, the Stags will be looking for a fruitful return to division one after struggling to keep pace in 2016-17.
Last season: Semi finalist Western Park will aim to be in contention once again.
While Tyler McMillan has returned to Bunyip, Troy Lehman has crossed from Longwarry to add some experience in a talented young team.
Leigh Diston has been appointed senior assistant coach, adding another all-round option to the team. Diston has played the past four seasons with premier club Casey South Melbourne. Sam Batson continues as club coach.
Last season: Sixth Yarragon has also recruited well as they aim to continue efforts to push towards playing finals.
Gamini Kumara will continue as captaincoach, and signings at his disposal include former first-class cricketer Nuwan Perera, an off-spinner who is a handy middle order bat.
Daminda Rajapaksha comes to the club from Hamilton as a cagey spinner and cavalier batsman while opening batsman Gayan De Silva joins from Dandenong District club Parkmore Pirates.
The Panthers continued season preparations with a hard-fought practice match against Traralgon side Centrals, falling just four runs short of toppling a handy side.
The Warriors were victorious in the under 12 grand final. Pictured back row from left Sam Farrucia, Seth Clark, Bianca Zurrer, Andrew Marks (behind) Zizi Pozzebon, Poppy Barry, Harry Coster and Liam Barrow, front row Samantha Hayes, Tyler Jolley, Hamish Zurrer, Thomas Pettigrew, Adrian Hayes, Zach Coster and lying at front is goal keeper Regan Smith; Photograph: Michael Robinson.
Churchill and Aztecs men’s teams came together to celebrate a closely fought grand final. Pictured back row from left Dylan Geffs, Dan Galway, Riley Taylor, Aztec Goalie Michael Crawford, Matt Taylor Cory Taylor, Churchill goalie Owen McLaughlin, Matthew Fisher, Colin Parnall, Matt Keen, Matt Wells, Paul Bailey, Steven Boltong, Lee Cooper, Jamie Cobbledick, Luke Taylor, Steve Fallon, Harvey Ellis-Williams, Brian Taylor, Joel Murtach, front row Sherwin Mariona, Rohan Godfrey, Dean White, Lachlan White, Daniel Godfrey, Shaun Hudgell, Toby Taylor, Mark Phoenix, Brendan ‘Spud’ North and Tom Taylor; Photograph: Margaret North.