PETE’S NEAT FEAT
PETER Cruden took on the Teesdale coaching role at the start of summer not only in an effort to improve the team and club, but change perceptions.
Arriving at the Roos after playing his cricket in Melbourne’s northeast previously, Cruden has slowly set about changing the way the club is viewed, both internally and externally.
The bowling all-rounder was surprised to see Teesdale was only training on Thursday nights when he joined, among other “simple cricket things that I took for granted” that weren’t the norm at the club.
However, slowly but surely, the extra professionalism has started to pay off.
The first XI sits fourth on the GCA3 ladder, and needs just 90 runs to win today against Waurn Ponds-Deakin with seven wickets in hand.
“Every team I’ve been involved with (previously) has had four or five teams, but now there’s two,” Cruden said.
“That’s taken a bit of adjustment to organise fielding drills when you’ve only got 10 guys there at the start of training, because a lot of guys have to work late as farmers.
“That was the biggest challenge at the start, but everyone has been really accepting of me and that’s made things a lot easier. There were simple cricket things that I took for granted from what I perceived to be normal, (so) it’s just been different for them.”
Cruden said the club’s key standards, such as players doing proper warm-ups and turning up on time, are now largely player driven.
And he believes Teesdale is far from just a simple country club.
“At first I reckon they rolled their eyes,” Cruden said of the increased professionalism he’s brought in.
“But they’ve all accepted it and taken it on-board. As one of the guys said, ‘we might whinge about it but we’ll do anything you say’.
“To their credit, they have. They have been accepting of everything I’ve tried to introduce and it’s been positive.
“It’s getting better and having a positive effect on everybody, and the results are proving themselves.
“This week a guy got his first hundred in the twos and he’s been training on Tuesday nights. It’s been evident the more you do the better you go.”
The Roos have lost just two games in the first half of the season — in Round 1 to nemesis Bannockburn and in Round 4 to last year’s grand finalist Modewarre.
Victories over Newcomb & District, Corio and an outright win against Guild-Saints has set up Teesdale’s season nicely heading into Christmas.
“We’re happy with the start, but everyone has been guilty of (poor) shot selection,” he said.
“But we’re bowling teams out — in the past they struggled to do that. Modewarre was a big eyeopener for us because the ball just didn’t come on, so that’s been the hardest adjustment.
“Everybody has been good about it though and they look forward to the challenge every week.”
MORE PROFESSIONAL: Teesdale captain coach Peter Cruden.