PETE’S NEAT FEAT

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - JOSH CON­WAY

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.”

Pic­ture: GLENN FER­GU­SON

MORE PRO­FES­SIONAL: Tees­dale cap­tain coach Peter Cru­den.

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