On the surface it might seem South Cricket Club, or The Roos as their fans call them, had an awful season.
Just one win in the A-Grade competition and missing out on finals in the B-Grade after a heart-breaking final day loss to West, seemingly the only high point for the club was their Women’s A-Grade side qualifying for a semi-final this season.
That is not the way it is being viewed inside the changerooms at Alma Oval, though. The steady progression of the B-Grade side, and the blooding of some very talented youngsters at the highest level of cricket in the Silver City has seen the power brokers at The Roos look at it as a transitional season for the club.
“The biggest takeaway from the season was the young kids. We played them all year, so now they have a full season under their belts,” South A-Grade captain Matt Gray told the Barrier Truth.
“Credit to them, they have caught some absolute beatings, but have always shown up to training to work on it.”
Another positive to take out of the season was the team camaraderie.
“The last game of the year was really great for us,” says Matt Gray.
“We just said we are going to go out there and have a laugh, and have fun and the boys really thrived.”
Squad building has also been another important facet ticked off
“We now have selection issues. Good selection issues, as in more than 11 players to choose from,” Mr Gray says.
“The big thing for us is heading into next season I have probably got 15 or 16 players already who will be a part of the A-Grade squad.”
We asked Captain Gray to give us his player of the season with both bat and ball.
BEST WITH THE BALL – Ben Franklyn/Jawad Minhas
“Our best bowler this year for consistency and keeping things tight would be Ben Franklyn. Always the right line and length. Always doing what you ask, he would bowl to whatever field you set. Very happy with both of those guys’ (Jawad and Ben) seasons.”
“Ben throws down some medium pacers. Terrific line and length. He feels like one of those bowlers you should be able to smack around the park, but you can never get him away.
“Jawad has a good bit of pace on him for walking off a couple of steps, and super accurate. I’d back him to hit a shoebox on the cricket pitch every day of the week.”
BEST WITH THE BAT – Harry Russell
“Harry was our pickup from West Torrens in South Australia. He has been wonderful to have around the club. He has helped me out with the women’s team too. He’s a good batter, he’s a good role model, he has been an absolute godsend for South cricket and we can only hope we can find a few more like him to help keep our club moving in the right direction. He’s a right-hander, our golden boy. The boys call him Captain Obvious. When he got going this season, he was hard to stop.”
PICTURE: (From left: Matt Grey, Lane Tichehurst, Lenny Smith, Kade Tichehurst)