Druids go with youth

Michael Hay. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 205542_12

Tara Murray

Youth and long term development is the focus for the Druids in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division this season.

In what is shaping up to be an interesting season, with all one-day matches in an expanded 10 team competition, Druids captain-coach Michael Hay is expecting this season to be a learning curve.

Druids finished last season in second spot, before losing to Yarraville Club in the semi finals.

Hay said they were realistic about their chances this season.

“Shane Windridge and Leigh Wilson are in their 30s and the rest of us are 25 or below,” Hay said.

“We realise that it’s going to be tough for us. We’re thinking if we can keep the same side the next couple of years and keep on building.

“If we do that for a few seasons and develop as a team, we will become stronger.”

Hay said it had been a short, but good pre-season leading into the season beginning on the weekend, with everyone keen to get out and have a hit after being in lockdown.

He said numbers wise they had seen more people walk in wanting to play, than he had seen in his time at the club.

One of those players might play some first XI cricket down the track, but the others would play in the lower grades.

The club has added two new recruits to the top side.

Benjamin Doll has come across from Grand United, while Luke Shoesmith joins from Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield premiers East Sunbury.

Hay said they were hopeful that the two would stick around and be part of the building of a side.

They have lost last season’s leading run scorer Dhanushka Dharmasiri, who couldn’t return due to COVID-19 preventing overseas travel.

The Druids kicked off their season with a win on Saturday against newly promoted Westmeadows.

The Warriors made 182 as they were bowled out with one ball remaining.

Hay was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.

The Druids made the runs with ease, finishing 3-183. They had seven and half overs remaining.

Hay capped off a strong game, finishing 81 not out.

In other results, Yarraville Club beat Keilor, Doutta Stars had a strong first up performance against reigning premiers St Albans, Sunshine United smashed Aberfeldie and Strathmore defeated Haig Fawkner.