Broadford Cricket Club has signed Greg Hobba as its senior coach for the 2019/20 season and hopes to improve on its semi-final appearance last season.
Hobba has played more than 200 Victorian Premier Cricket matches and captain-coached both North Melbourne and Preston for more than 20 years combined, winning 11 premierships.
Along with his son Blair, the Hobbas won a premiership in their first season with the club and followed it up with a semi-final appearance last year.
Hobba took on the coaching role after captain-coach Ash Woods suffered a shoulder injury playing football that ruled him out for nine months.
“With Ash not being able to do anything until March, we were in a bit of a hole. I did a bit of assistant work last year and Lee rang me to ask if I would be interested, which I accepted. It’s going to be a good year,” he said.
Hobba will have his work cut out for him with the loss of wicketkeeper and highest-run scorer Woods as well as the team’s two opening bowlers from last year, but he said he was up for the challenge.
“Our two opening bowlers have gone to play in Melbourne so we’re going to build on the bowling side of things,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of youth in the club so they’ll get an opportunity to go and play some games.”
Hobba said he wanted to improve the mental side of the game, not just focus on skills.
“They all know how to play pretty well but there’s a fine line where a 50-50 goes one way or another and the better sides get those,” he said.
“It’s about getting the mental aspect up to where they can manage their stress levels to a point where the game comes to a critical point and they can get over the line.”
President Lee McKenzie said the new season had come around quickly but the club was excited for the upcoming season.
“As a club we are extremely fortunate to be able to appoint some of Greg’s character and calibre as senior coach this season,” he said.
McKenzie said Hobba’s cricketing resume was as good as there was going around, and his appointment was a major coup for Broadford this season.
“Greg’s standing in the game and his knowledge of cricket is quite amazing, and he has so much to offer both on-field and in a mentoring capacity,” he said.