Round one a mys­tery

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CAM POT­TER

PLENTY of mys­tery sur­rounds round one of the Wangaratta and District Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion sea­son.

But Beech­worth Wan­der­ers are ex­pect­ing to be at a sim­i­lar level to last sea­son.

The club coach for the past two sea­sons, Mark But­ters, has stepped down as coach, but will con­tinue to be a player, while the hard-hit­ting Adam Cross­man is ex­pected to make a big dif­fer­ence to the Wan­der­ers’ bat­ting line up.

Brenton Sur­rey will once again cap­tain the side.

Beech­worth take on Yar­ra­wonga in a re­play of the 2017/18 grand fi­nal at Stan Har­g­reaves Oval in what will be a pul­sat­ing game.

But­ters said that the un­known of round one will fall once Sat­ur­day comes.

“You’re not re­ally sure who you’re up against un­til you take to the field on Sat­ur­day,” But­ters said.

“It’s the same with a lot of teams at this time of year and with the sea­son start­ing so much closer to foot­ball grand fi­nals; you just don’t know who is avail­able or not.”

With for­mer Be­nalla Bushrangers cap­tain Sam Glad­stone stat­ing that “a lot of the 1718 year olds just don’t want a bar of it (crick- et)”, But­ters agreed. “I would back that up,” But­ters said. “Peo­ple in the coun­try just have other things that they want to do.

“I know a lot of other clubs are in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion to us; if they don’t live and breathe cricket then num­bers at train­ing will be low.

“Get­ting 15 blokes to train­ing is an okay start.”

While Cross­man is a handy in­clu­sion for the Wan­der­ers, But­ters said there haven’t been any other ad­di­tions over the off-sea­son.

“There aren’t re­ally any new faces, we have been able to main­tain the group we had from the past cou­ple of years,” But­ters said.

“I think the hard­est thing will be keep­ing those news guys in­volved and maybe down the track the club can look at get­ting an im­port, some­thing to in­vig­o­rate the group a bit.

“You look at all the other clubs and they have all brought an over­seas player in; maybe that is our next step.

“Jake Bid­dulph is re­ally the only player still up in the air; he stud­ies in Bendigo and trav­elled back last year.

“We prob­a­bly won’t see him un­til af­ter Oc­to­ber but he will be a handy in­clu­sion head­ing into Christ­mas.”

Beech­worth have been train­ing Tues­days and Thurs­days at Baar­mutha Park for the past two weeks ahead of Sat­ur­day’s match.

Train­ing starts at 5pm.

BACK TO IT: The premier­ship win­ning Beech­worth Wan­der­ers side from 2017 is al­most un­changed and af­ter last year’s grand fi­nal heart­break they will be in con­tention again.

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