By Colin MacGillivray
The Seymour District Cricket Association, SDCA, hopes to promote as many as three clubs to round out it’s A Grade competition after Kilmore last week announced it would move to the Gisborne and District Cricket Association, GDCA.
The Blues ended their five-decade affiliation with the Seymour competition after opting to join the Gisborne association, a move approved last week by more than 75 per cent of existing GDCA clubs.
The move leaves the SDCA with only five A Grade teams, but president Ben Trezise said the association hoped to bolster its top-tier competition by promoting at least one other club at next week’s annual general meeting.
“At the moment all systems are go. We are proceeding as normal,” he said.
“Our aim [is to promote teams to A Grade], but we haven’t had our AGM yet. Obviously until we have met we won’t know, but the plan is to get at least one, if not two or three clubs to come up to A Grade to make it a stronger competition.”
With Kilmore’s withdrawal, the remaining A Grade teams from the 2021-22 season are premier Eastern Hill, runner-up Broadford, Yea Tigers, Tallarook and Seymour.
Pyalong competed in the SDCA’s A Grade competition in 2020-21 and seems well placed to return to the top level after winning the B Grade premiership last season.
Kilmore joint treasurer and A Grade captain-coach Josh Buttler said the club decided to move to the GDCA to give its junior players more opportunities.
“We’re getting a bit bigger each year and as a club we felt like the move would help continue that growth,” he said.
“Our under 17s moved across last year and it was very successful, so we felt that with a stronger junior competition it will help our club in the long run.”
Buttler said it was ‘very sad’ to be leaving the Seymour association after nearly 50 years in the competition.
“Based on premierships in the top grade we were one of the most successful clubs, if not the most successful club, and we’ve got a lot of members who have been life members of the league for years and years,” he said.
“It is sad, but that comes with it. We thought the opportunity outweighed the drawbacks, so we went with it.”
Trezise, who played for Kilmore but will now look for a new club, wished the Blues well.
The GDCA welcomed Kilmore in a statement from outgoing president Rob McIntyre on Thursday.
“Kilmore will field four senior teams and six junior teams for the coming season,” McIntyre said.
“After 50 years in the Seymour District Cricket Association, the move to the GDCA will provide the club with a larger competition for its junior teams and an opportunity to field senior and junior female teams in future.
“Club president Brett Buttler informed the meeting that affiliating with the GDCA with its much larger number of senior and junior grades will allow the club to continue to grow in an area of increasing population.”