By MICHELLE COOK
CAVALIERS won’t be going stale with some young faces set to boost the first grade side in the 2012-13 Orange District Cricket Association season.
Cavaliers have lost to Centrals in the last two ODCA grand finals after winning the previous eight.
Cavaliers president and first grade player Chris Martin said the losses were exactly the motivation the side needed.
“We had a de-brief after the grand final and talked about what we need to do,” Martin explained.
“We’ve got some new coaches coming in. Mike Middleton has been working with us and so has Billy Venner. We’ve had one of the best pre-seasons we’ve had for a while.
“I don’t like sitting in the shed after a grand final and commiserating. We had to change things. We couldn’t just keep floating along.”
Martin said some young faces are likely to feature in the first grade side this season and are part of the plan to build for the future.
“We’re going to try and blood a few of our younger guys this season,” Martin said.
“We’ve got a group of guys who played open juniors last season and a lot of second grade and some of them filled in for first grade. They came to Newcastle with us and did a very good job. We’re looking to the future.”
Cavaliers will still have the familiar faces of Chris Martin, Richie Venner, Stuart Middleton, Brad Wright, Greg Martin and Trent Jones.
Missing from last year’s first grade squad are Trent Colley and Luke Clarke, who have gone to CYMS, as well as Ant Spruce and Beau Cox.
However, many of the Cavaliers players no longer work shift work and Martin expects they can field a consistent 11 each week.
Part of Cavaliers’ preparation for the 2012-13 season was playing Toronto last month in a one-day and a Twenty20 match.
Cavaliers came out on top in the Twenty20 and, despite being competitive, couldn’t topple Toronto in the one-day fixture.
“In Newcastle we had a couple of good results,” Martin said.
“That put us in good stead. They’re a first grade side in Newcastle and Newcastle is the strongest competition in Country NSW. To compete with those guys was great. It was a good trip.”
Martin said the club’s young players made their intentions clear in Newcastle.
“They threw themselves around in the field at Newcastle. We were impressed with them and so were our opponents,” Martin said.
“Having them encourages all the other guys to lift their game. Hopefully the young guys will push the first grade players.”
The ODCA first grade season will start this Saturday with Cavaliers taking on CYMS from 1pm at Wade Park.