ALL season, Centrals have struggled to field more than a half-strength team, until today.
Centrals welcome back Wes Roweth and Mick Walker from the club’s 2010-11 and 2011-12 premiership-winning sides, along with former Western Zone under 17s representative Nick Duffy.
After standing in for several weeks in the absence of Adam Shepherd, 19-year-old Jake Pauletto was named as Centrals’ full-time skipper during the week, and can’t wait to attack Cavaliers with a reinvigorated line-up in today’s Orange District Cricket Association first grade clash.
“The experience we get back from Maxy [Walker] and Wes is invaluable,” Pauletto said.
“And with Duffy we get a good leg spinner. Not many blokes around here can play good leg spin.
“Pun intended, but he could potentially turn things around for us.”
Pauletto said his team had plenty to improve on, and was focusing on accruing as many points as possible before Christmas.
“Our top order is much stronger now, we should be able to put together some defendable totals,” he said.
“It’s time for us to start looking towards the end of the season now. Any points we get are hugely important, and we’re looking forward to playing some better cricket, winning games and hopefully being there or thereabouts in March.”
Cavaliers captain Richie Venner echoed Pauletto’s sentiments, and warned his players of complacency leading into the break.
“These are the danger games for teams,” he said.
“It’s hard to keep the same team on the paddock at this time of year, and get consistency, so we need good performances over the next fortnight.”
Venner said the return of Walker, Roweth and Duffy was welcomed by his team.
“This is the Centrals team we want to play,” he said.
“We want to test ourselves against them with their main guys back, not with five or six missing. If they keep the same team on the paddock they can beat anyone in this competition easily.”
Venner didn’t play last week in Cavs’ loss to Orange City, but said he was impressed with his troops’ effort nonetheless.
“We’ve only lost to the top teams,” Venner said.
“We’re playing good cricket, and the younger guys are starting to step up and impress. We just need to try and figure out how to beat those top teams.”