By Jordyn Grubisic
GISBORNE and District Cricket Association, GDCA, cricketers will hit the pitch this weekend as the 2023/2024 begins.
Reigning champions Romsey Cricket Club will start its defence of its McIntyre Cup flag facing Sunbury Kangaroos at home on Saturday.
Captain Ben Way and coach James Collins retain their positions from last year and Way said the side remained similar.
“Nothing too much has changed at Romsey. We’ve sort of had a similar group of people for a few years now so no real personnel changes. Pretty much everyone is coming back,” he said.
“We’ve had a pretty late start to the season. We’ve only been at it for a few weeks so we’re looking forward to the season starting.”
After winning the McIntyre Cup last season, the side is hoping for back-to-back victories.
“We’re feeling confident about the side this season,” Way said.
“We fought for a long time to get to the stage where we’re competing in finals and for premierships and we’d like to stay there as long as we can.
“We feel like we’re going to be somewhere around the mark again coming at the end of the year.”
Kilmore Cricket Club, Wallan District Cricket Club and Broadford Cricket Club will play in the Johnstone Shield division this season.
It will be Broadford’s debut in the league after transferring from the Seymour and District Cricket Association.
Coached by captain Jacob Walton, Kilmore will play East Sunbury on Saturday while Wallan face Riddell at home.
Broadford has a bye this weekend.
Broadford Cricket Club president Michael Mirabella said the side was looking forward to the new competition.
“Hopefully we have recruited well enough to be a competitive team or a competitive bunch of teams,” he said.
“It’s looking good. It’s exciting to step into a new competition.
“We’ve done some preseason sessions trying to lead into it but we’ll be in full swing soon. Our B Grade start this week and then next week all three senior teams have a game.”
Jack Connell will co-captain of the Broadford A Grade side this season, joining Gareth Sharp, who is also the coach.
“We’ve got a new coach. He’s young and brought a few new things to the club in his new leadership role so it’s good. It’s exciting,” Mirabella said.
In the Jensen Shield, Romsey play reigning champions Hanging Rock at Hanging Rock and Lancefield play St Anthony’s at Arnolds Creek Recreation Reserve on October 14.
Lancefield Cricket Club is once again fielding two women’s cricket sides in the GDCA Kookaburra Women’s League after a successful 2022/23 season, which saw the two teams face each other in the semi finals and Lancefield Black go on to win the competition.
Unlike the one-day structure for the men, the women will play T20 games on Sundays.
Lancefield Black will play Bacchus Marsh away in round one while Lancefield Yellow has a bye.
Kilmore will again field a women’s side and will open the season with a home game against Gisborne on Sunday, October 15.
Kilmore captain Taylah Logie said round one was a chance for new players to get their nerves out.
“We just want to get out there and have some fun,” she said.
“I’m one of those players that’s not really competitive. I’m just really quite happy just playing the game and getting out there and having some fun, mucking around with the team. That’s what we’re doing.
“At this stage we’re just trying to get the newcomers ready and get their nerves out.”
The side are still recruiting players for the upcoming season.
“We’re looking not too bad at the moment. We’ve got a few players but we’re still trying to get some more numbers,” Logie said.
“We’ve got a few newcomers which is good, we’ve got some players staying from last season and we’ve lost a few from last year due to pregnancy so now we’re just trying to get a few more numbers going for the upcoming season.”
The Kilmore women’s side train Wednesdays at 5.30pm and those interested can contact the club via its Facebook page or Cath Modridge on 0408 855 833.