St Leonards appoints senior coaches for 2022-23
TWO head coaches have been named at Len Trewin Reserve for the 2022-23 season as St Leonards Cricket Club enters a landmark 75th year in the seaside town.
Gary “Pud” Egan and Steve Grey have been appointed as senior head coaches for next season’s women’s and men’s First XI sides following a historic 2021-22 fixture.
Egan’s decision to coach on another season as St Leonards Women First XI’s coach was a no-brainer after the female program’s inaugural season.
“Last season was just really rewarding for me personally,” Egan said.
“The way the players came from nowhere, first year players with no experience, was astounding.
“Their enthusiasm was so infectious and their want to learn was comparable to a sponge, asking questions upon questions, every day it made it so easy to want to coach that side last season and it made me want to do it again.”
St Leonards’ first senior women’s side was slotted into D Grade by the Barwon Women’s Cricket Competition (BWCC) with fellow Bellarine clubs such as Ocean Grove and Queenscliff.
The season went off without a hitch across the 10 games. St Leonards remained the only undefeated side up until finals.
A hard-fought win over Jan Juc in the semi-finals had set up a battle of the best two sides in the competition with Bannockburn.
However, a strong showing by Bannockburn’s openers was enough to give St Leonards its only loss of the campaign.
Despite the team’s grand final loss, Egan is adamant the squad achieved something more valuable than a premiership that year.
“Getting more women into the club was the best thing that has happened here in more than 20 years,” Egan said.
“Not only on the field, but also off the field, the way they have embraced the club is phenomenal.
“It’s the way any cricket club should move forward, by getting more women involved.”
Grey will take over the role as men’s coach for season 2022-23 season, using the women’s success from last year to motivate his side.
“Pud’s side were training twice a week last season putting in the hard yards and look where it got them, while the men trained only once. Things like this will be what I’ll be pushing next season,” Grey said.
“The women last season brought a wonderful culture with them to the club, and we will look to build on that.
“On my end personally, I’m just so excited to get in and start working.”
St Leonards is currently on the prowl for recruits to gather a third men’s side and a second women’s side.
Grey also noted the club is in the process of getting a junior program up and running for next season in either an under 15s or under 13s age bracket.
Any families or individuals interested in getting involved with the club are encouraged to reach out at [email protected]