Kangaroos, Tigers, Hawks, Blues
Date of Event Victorian Premier Cricket: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:21PM

We continue our look at the coming season's prospects. This time, it's Greenvale Kangaroos, Monash Tigers, Hawthorn-Monash Uni and Carlton.........

Two Premier teams have undergone name alterations during the winter break and both are hoping to do their adopted areas proud when the season kicks in.

North Melbourne is now the Greenvale Kangaroos after teaming up with Greenvale Cricket Club. More importantly they now have a ground to call their own after moving from St Kilda’s base at Junction Oval.

2012-13 proved to be a mixed season for the side which finished in the lower reaches of the ladder, but they also produced some of the most exciting moments of the campaign.

Their eye-watering victory over Richmond will go down as one of the greatest-ever run chases, and they will also be the club who gave all-rounder Trent Lawford his first turn on a first grade stage.

Lawford’s fantastic story continues to write itself. The big-hitter could well be a smash in the BBL for Adelaide Strikers this campaign after moving interstate in the winter.

Coach Steve Maddocks is sad to see him go, but believes this now gives the club's youngsters a chance to take his place.

“We’ve got a raft of young players coming through. This is a massive opportunity for them to come in and play Premier Cricket," he said.

“It’s been a massively disjointed pre-season, we’ve been all over the place trying to find training facilities, it’s been very difficult.Skipper Carl Sandri

“But the new ground is looking good and we’re looking forward to getting on out there.”

It has been an extremely busy time for Maddocks who has worked hard to set up a training structure for the Roos.

He feels this season again will be a transitional one as they settle into life in their new home.

“The club was only verified about three weeks ago. That’s made it very difficult to plan for this year,” he added.

“This season will be tough, we’re under no illusions, but next year we’ll be in better shape.

“I was appointed in mid-June. I was against going back into coaching but then a few things changed. By that time you’ve missed the best part of the pre-season when you should be recruiting.

“We’ve just got to do our best, the players are keen and worked hard pre-season. Eventually it will come good but at the moment it’s a journey.

“I just hope we can get to the stage where we are competitive and continue to grow.”

On the playing front Lawford may have left, but former North Melbourne boy Daniel Salpietro is back. He’ll add some much-needed experience alongside the likes of Carl Sandri.

Rory Collins (Essendon) also joins. Matthew Love, Matt Doric and Jim Robertson have all left.

“This season is going to be a challenge, but I’m certainly up to that challenge,” added Maddocks.

“I don’t feel any pressure, we’ve just got to roll with the punches and if we get off to a good start then great. The vital thing is we get established and build for next season.”

Greenvale Kangaroos' 2013-14 fixtures:
Date                         Opponents
5-Oct          Prah (H)
12-Oct         FP (A)
19-Oct         Ncte (A)
20-Oct         Carl (H)
26-Oct         Melb (A)
2 & 9 Nov      HMU (H)
16 & 23 Nov    Uni (A)
30 Nov & 1 Dec FE (H)
7-Dec (T20)    St K (Ballarat)
7-Dec (T20)    Dand (Ballarat)
14-Dec (T20)   CM (H)
14-Dec (T20)   Ess (H)
21-Dec         St K (A)
11 & 18 Jan    Geel (H)
25 Jan & 1 Feb Ring (A)
8 & 9 Feb      FD (H)
15 & 22 Feb    Rich (A)
1 & 8 Mar      C-SM (H)

Richmond is now the Monash Tigers, but they will never forget their proud history according to new player/coach Allan Wise.

The 2011-12 Premiers have recruited well in the off-season with Dan Christian a major coup. The club is hopeful of securing his services for a number of games across all formats alongside Will Sheridan and Cameron White, who was so destructive on his Premier outings last season.

He’s joined by former Ram Matthew King who comes back into Premier Cricket. Marcus Berriman has also flown the Magpies' nest to sit alongside him.

They have, however, lost the talented Ryan Carters who has moved interstate to Sydney.Tigers' skipper Allan Wise

“There’s no ambiguity in the name change,” said Wise.

“We will still be the Richmond Cricket Club but called the Monash Tigers to hopefully attract more businesses in the area and supporters to get involved. We will still have 1854 on the playing caps and the committee members will be the same.

“This will be our third season at Glen Waverley. The first year was a teething process, but the Monash council there really embraced us and we were thankful for that.”

Last year not making finals was a bitter pill to swallow for Wise who could only sit on the sidelines and watch his team falter at the final hurdle.

It’s a pain which has been burning inside him over the last few months, a lesson he hopes his men learn from this season.
“It was tough for me as captain to watch,” he said.

“I didn’t really feature in the second half of the season. To go from winning the flag two seasons ago to not making the final eight- that really cuts deep.

“I suppose looking back we didn’t play good enough cricket to get ourselves into a finals position and that’s something we’ll have to work on this season.”

As for the league Wise feels 2013-14 could see more demonic dominance.

“Melbourne won all three competitions last year,” he said.

“They have been the benchmark in the competition and that’s the aspiration of every club in this league to emulate their success.

“Ringwood is going to be strong again. They have a fantastic group of young players who all hit form when it mattered last season, St Kilda will be up there, Frankston and Carlton have recruited well by all accounts.

“Last year Melbourne and Prahran ran away a little bit in the two-day competition. But we’re starting off with five one-day matches, it’s important we get our white ball hats on early and get off to a good start.”

Wise takes over from Jarrad Loughman.

Loughman featured heavily in the media during the first Ashes Test in Nottingham when former pupil Ashton Agar made history with the highest ever score for a number 11.

Agar’s younger brothers, Will and Wes, will continue their cricketing journey with the Tigers this season, with hopes they will push for selection in the higher grades.

“They are developing quite nicely,” added Wise.

“They were both involved in a practice match at the weekend, we’ve been pleased with their development.”

Wise is looking forward to rekindling his side’s local rivalry with Hawthorn-Monash University.

Monash Tigers' 2013-14 fixtures:
Date                          Opponents
5-Oct          HMU (A)
12-Oct         Uni (H)
19-Oct         FE (A)
20-Oct         Dand (H)
26-Oct         CM (A)
2 & 9 Nov      St K (H)
16 & 23 Nov    Geel (A)
30 Nov & 1 Dec Ring (H)
7-Dec (T20)    Melb (Cobram)
7-Dec (T20)    Uni (Cobram)
14-Dec  (T20)  Ncte (H)
14-Dec (T20)   FD (H)
21-Dec         C-SM (H)
11 & 18 Jan    Ess (A)
25 Jan & 1 Feb Prah (H)
8 & 9 Feb      FP (A)
15 & 22 Feb    NM (H)
1 & 8 Mar      Carl (A)

The Hawks, like the Roos, are in a building stage with young players coming up through the ranks.

The experienced David Alleyne will stay at the club in possibly his last season of Premier Cricket. He has passed on the captain’s armband to Grant Westgarth.

Keith Jansz is replaced by Stan Nell who has returned to the club he coached previously.Hawks' keeper-batsman David Alleyne

He’s under no illusions how difficult it will be against the other Premier giants, but hopes his budding cricketers shine in the spotlight.

“We’ve recruited some new players, but not first eleven eleven players, most of them will play second eleven or below,” said Nell.

“A few Hawthorn-Monash players who had left the club in the past are back and hopefully they can provide a valuable contribution.

“Will Tavare is coming back from Gloucester. He’s been playing in the twos and has scored three hundreds in the last few months.

“He’s playing the whole season for us which is a bonus. We’re expecting him here in the next week or so. We’ve got a good group of young players.”

The Hawks are expecting big things from a number of lads this campaign.

One to watch could be Nathan Willoughby who moved up through the grades at the back of the last campaign and hit a ton on his seconds debut.

Unfortunately his season was cut short when he broke his cheekbone in the field. But now after some much needed R&R he’s back and raring to go.

“There’s only one way we can go after last season, and that’s up,” added Nell.

“The first four weeks we’re playing five one dayers, that’s what we are gearing up for at the moment. We have some great youngsters at the club, all we can ask of them is to go out there and give it their best.”

Hawthorn-Monash Uni's 2013-14 fixtures:
Date                          Opponents
5-Oct          Rich (H)
12-Oct         C-SM (A)
19-Oct         Ess (H)
20-Oct         Prah (A)
26-Oct         FP (H)
2 & 9 Nov      NM (A)
16 & 23 Nov    Carl (H)
30 Nov & 1 Dec Melb (A)
7-Dec (T20)    Ring (Morwell)
7-Dec (T20)    FD (Morwell)
14-Dec (T20)   Uni (H)
14-Dec (T20)   Ring (H)
21-Dec         FE (A)
11 & 18 Jan    Dand (H)
25 Jan & 1 Feb CM (A)
8 & 9 Feb      St K (H)
15 & 22 Feb    Geel (A)
1 & 8 Mar      Ring (H)

Carlton player/coach Tim Welsford has worked hard to keep last season’s group together for another shot at the finals.

The Blues are expecting big things from Will Mills, a ‘sensational prospect’ according to Welsford who hopes his young guns continue to progress.

In comes Paddy McKenna. Ryan Sidebottom’s availability will be monitored throughout the season with the paceman picking up a Bushrangers contract.Nick Ross

“Things are looking really positive,” said Welsford.

“We’ve been able to get outside on turf for three weeks now, we’ve also had good hits in the practice matches, we’ve been delighted with the progress of the players.

“We’ve had nine players playing overseas in the winter. Most of them will return to the club next week and hopefully they’ll be in good shape to get going straight away.

“We came good at the right time of year last season, but looking back on it there were a couple of games where we lost sessions and that ended up costing us.

“You’ve got to finish in the top two or three really to have a chance, and that’s always the challenge.

“At Carlton we usually lose about 12 players at the end of the season. But this year we’ve only lost two and I think that’s because the boys enjoy being down there.

“The facilities are terrific and I’d like to think we create a really good e

Last updated: Thursday November 7, 2013 3:32PM