CHCA. The ‘Tall Timbers One Day Cup’ will launch the 2016/17 Circular Head Cricket Association season this weekend.
Following a revised structure to the competition, six sides will enter the association’s senior roster after the suspension of the Under 16s and A and B Grade competitions.
Forest Stanley and Irishtown will enter one side each while Marrawah and TC Blues will each launch two teams into the competition.
CHCA president Glen McLaren said he was disappointed to see the U/16 competition temporarily abandoned but said the support of both an U/13 and U/17 side in the Cricket North West league would provide still youngsters with opportunities.
“We’re very conscious of looking after the younger guys and keeping them interested in the game,” McLaren said.
“Now it’s up to the local senior players to look after the juniors as they join them in the senior comp. It is an opportunity for the juniors to develop their cricket and show their skills.”
Coaching Irishtown for the third consecutive season, Hobie Rutter welcomes the inclusions of Josh Else and Jack Russell to the line-up following the departures of Sean Ryan, Matthew Febey and Ben Revell.
“We’re a fairly strong side, premiers last year with a few A Grade guys mixed in,” he said of the squad essentially composed of the previous season’s B Grade side.
Rutter said the restructured competition would allow for an even playing field for all cricketers with varying abilities.
Forest Stanley’s Martyn Carr, who has coached the club’s B Grade in the past two seasons, said his side will remain the same following the departure of the club’s A Grade side to the Burnie Cricket League (BCL).
“Forest Stanley has been a strong club for the last decade or so and this shows in the passion the fellas have for the game.”
Carr said the local competition’s restructure would strengthen all clubs resulting in a competitive environment.
“I think there will be a lot more high standard games of cricket on display.”
Carr welcomes Matty Emmett, Lenny Brown and Ashley Jackson to the side.
Having recently moved to the region from Burnie, Daniel Donovan has the experience of playing with Ridgley and Natone in the BCL to look upon this year as he dons the coach-captain title for the TC Blues. Jarrod Williams will join Donovan in coaching the second side.
Losing Scott Blizzard, Brent Burgess and Aaron Tuxworth to the BCL, the TC Blues will welcome Nick Littlejohn and Matthew Perry (Latrobe) to the team.
“I imagine we’ll be very strong in the bowling department,” Williams said of his hopes for the season ahead.
“But batting will be a hard work.”
The two coaches say they will look to rotate the youth through both sides so as to expose them to playing opportunities and increase versatility.
“We have a good mix of youth and experienced players, so giving the young guys that exposure,” Donovan said.
Marrawah will have cricket stalwarts Rocky Poke and James Saward leading the two sides this season as the club farewells David Blake and Jason Berechree while Marcus Popowski and Matthew Saward join the line-up.
“We have a fairly even mix in the teams, an even amount of younger and older players,” Poke said.
“Last year our A Grade side was fairly young so this is a chance to mix it up a bit.”
The coaches say they will share the captaincy throughout the club in order to gain a generation of leaders.
CHCA’s first round will begin with the Tall Timbers One Day Cup this Saturday where Irishtown will host Forest Stanley from 10am, while the two TC Blues sides face off at the Smithton Recreation Ground and the Marrawah squads meet at their home field.