Hawks land hard-hitting bat on eve of round one
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 17-18 year olds just don’t want a bar of it (cricket)”, 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.
AGRESSION: New Rovers United Bruck batsman John Pratt pulls strongly through the on-side during his stint with Cricket Albury/Wodonga club New City back in 2014.