By Jackson Russell
Broadford Cricket Club has appointed Ash Wood as the club’s new coach and A Grade captain for the 2020-21 Seymour District Cricket Association season, which starts on October 31.
With four years at the club, Wood, the opening batsman and wicketkeeper, returns to the coaching role, after Greg Hobba took the club to a semi-final berth last season.
Wood scored 330 runs at an average of 30, with a high score of 102 in 2018-19, along with 15 catches and a stumping and won the association’s Frank Zanelli Medal in 2017-18, having made 667 runs at 55.58, including a knock of 125.
Wood said he was excited to take on the role and continue Hobba’s work in moving the club in the right direction.
“Greg and I worked pretty closely over the last two years so I’m looking to continue in that forward direction,” he said.
“Over the last two years, we’ve built some pretty special and I’m just looking to continue moving the club in the right direction.”
With limited sports being played this year, Wood said Broadford’s players were chomping at the bit to get out on the park with the potential for some of the club’s younger players to push for A Grade selection.
“I think it’s good for everyone’s mental health as well to get back out there and do something to make the world feel a little more normal, to get out there with your mates and do something when we haven’t been able to for the last nine months,” he said.
“The season is going to be very different to any other season, it’s going to be a late start along with not knowing if a season would go ahead but we’re excited, we have some good young players coming through, it will be good to see them have some success and develop their cricketing abilities.
“[Developing young talent is] something that as a club you have to do to keep the club moving forward and there’s a couple young fellas who have been down at training who could be pressing for A Grade selection.”
Broadford president Lee McKenzie said Wood’s knowledge of the game was exceptional, but the time and dedication he gave to the club’s juniors was the most pleasing.
“He coaches our under 12s as well and he puts a lot of time into our future cricketers, which is really exciting from a club perspective,” he said.
“It was an easy appointment, he’s a natural leader and was a leader at the club since he walked through the door.
“He’s got the respect of the players and the club, it’s an exciting appointment and he’ll be a wonderful asset for the club and we’re looking forward to his contribution.”