Hawks land hard-hit­ting bat on eve of round one

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Cricket -

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.

PHOTO: Border Mail

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.

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