Continuing to rebuild culture and finding some stability.
They’re the primary goals of Orange District Cricket Association’s selectors this summer, goals they’ve taken a big step toward achieving by naming a preliminary squad for the 2017-18 Western Zone Premier League (WPL).
“I think being picked for Orange has been devalued a bit in recent years, a lot of the time selectors have had to, it’s become a bit of a token thing,” Former Orange skipper and selector Richie Venner said.
“There’s been times we’ve seen teams be picked and then a completely different side takes the field.
“It’s tough for captains and coaches to manage those sides when they’re not sure who they’re managing and it’s tough for players as well, to build camaraderie and come together as a side.
“So this year we’ve selected 18 guys in a preliminary squad, based on who the clubs have told us are available and want to play for Orange.
“That’s the culture we want, we want everyone wanting to play for Orange. It’s the culture we used to have, and we’re going to try and rebuild it.
“At times, you might not get all the best players on the field using this plan but I think having that desire and some consistency will create a better team.”
Venner explained the squad named “isn’t hard and fast”, in-form players can still force their way into a baggy blue, however Orange’s side for the campaign-opening double header on October 7 and 8 will be picked from this group.
“We’ll be training as group over the next couple of weekends leading into that double-header,” Venner said.
Daryl Kennewell headlines the squad and has been named skipper again, he’ll be joined by three of his Centrals teammates in Charlie Mortimer, Zac Reimer and Nick Dunlop.
CYMS have five named in Mitch Winslade, Tom Belmonte, Peter Gott, Michael Hannelly and boom recruit Joel Crosswell, a former Fremantle all-rounder.
Former Western Zone quick Jackson Coote is one of Orange City’s three representatives, alongside Jock Cartwright and Ed Morrish.
Cavaliers have three named in Matt Corben, Scott Kennedy and Josh Doherty while Kinross’ Fletcher Rose, Charlie Greer and Angus Cumming round out the group.
There’s a clear movement toward youth among the group, which Venner said ties in with selectors’ primary goal.
“A lot of these guys should be around for a while, and we’ve struggled performance wise anyway so having a bit more youthful exuberance is something we looked for,” he said.
“We’ve got a few old, experienced heads as well like Daryl and Peter Gott, Jackson Coote has played high levels before and we’ll look to guys like Matt Corben and Josh Doherty to play that role as well.”
However, Venner explained Orange’s bid to defend it’s Mitchell Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup win will be considered under different criteria.
The same selection policy as last year will be put in place. That was the first trophy Orange had won since the 2009-10 President’s Cup, so he said the same approach was logical.
“We’ll be selecting the T20 side the same way we did last year, it won Orange a trophy after all,” Venner said.
“That will be considered a completely separate team and selectors will name the best T20 squad possible, of available players from any grade.
“The beauty of that one, as we saw last year, is it gives a lot of guys who can’t commit to the longer forms a chance to play representative cricket, players like of Shaun Grenfell and Dean Turner, who had a big impact on the win last year.”
- ORANGE: Daryl Kennewell ©, Charlie Mortimer, Zac Reimer, Nick Dunlop (Centrals), Michael Hannelly, Mitch Winslade, Tom Belmonte, Peter Gott, Joel Crosswell (CYMS), Josh Doherty, Matt Corben, Scott Kennedy (Cavaliers), Charlie Greer, Fletcher Rose, Angus Cumming (Kinross), Jock Cartwright, Jackson Coote, Ed Morrish (Orange City)