GROVEDALE is confident it has the side to push towards another Geelong Cricket Association division one firsts finals campaign.
The 2019/20 season was called off in March due to the coronavirus, meaning no finals were played.
The Tigers finished fourth and have added some talent to the side ahead of the season opener against South Barwon on Saturday, October 31.
Barry Tsitas has come out of retirement, Daniel Brew joins from Modewarre, while Sam Coutts was recruited from St Joseph’s. The only loss to the first XI has been James Fisher, who has joined Torquay.
Captain Luke Ford said his side had made the most of the indifferent build-up and training conditions. He felt the one-day format would see a slight change to the side, but more so a change in mindset by the club’s quality players.
“We’ll definitely be different, but there won’t be too much change.
“You don’t just pick guys because they’re good two-day players, you’ve got to be a good one-day cricketer this season and I think most of our guys are… it’s about the batsmen being more attacking but also having a plan, and the bowlers have been changing their pace up in the nets.”
Grovedale’s round one opponent, South Barwon, is eyeing a crucial opening month for the side. Skipper Luke Brown knows the importance of a strong start, even more so when two of its first four opponents are the 2019/20 finalists, along with East Belmont, which narrowly missed the top four.
“It’s a huge game against Grovedale, it’s always a super battle,” he said. “It’s going to be so important to get a few wins early and kick off the season really well.”
South Barwon’s team will remain relatively stable from last season. However, it has lost bowler Terry Hill, who will leave a hole given he took 21 wickets at an average of 21.2 in 2019/20. But a man who will help fill that void is spinner Zac Thorne.
Joining from Coburg Cricket Club, Thorne took 21 wickets at 27.9 and will also offer plenty with the bat down the order, averaging 30.7 last season.