Kinross club coach Andrew Litchfield admits there’ll be a distinct lack of experience among the students’ top grade side for the early part of the Orange District Cricket Association season, with a number of older heads not yet available.
That, as you’d expect, makes those early season results super crucial to the side’s finals hopes.
Pick up a couple of upset wins and they’ll be in super stead once the likes of Stu Crisp, Gus Cumming and Charlie Greer return to the side.
They’ll have a pretty decent chance to start their season with a win – Kinross had the bye in last weekend’s washed-out opening round – on Saturday too, when they face a young CYMS side that will boast a number of top grade debutants.
But the students’ focus is firmly on themselves, and not having those experienced guns presents some of the side’s burgeoning stars with a chance to stand up and be counted.
“Will Luelf and Alex Brien are two guys that have been in the side for a couple of seasons now and we’d really like to see them stand up now,” Litchfield said.
“Sam Ridley had first grade experience last year before he broke his finger, he’s a talented cricketer.
“Max Powell too, he’d normally open the batting for us but he’s had knee surgery so he won't be back for a while.
"We'll be fielding a pretty inexperienced side for the first few rounds but once those guys are all back, that’ll bolster the ranks in a big way.
“Charlie and Gus will be back late October, I think the last one that month will be their first game.
“They’ll play out the season which will be a big boost to the side, pretty much playing their second season post-school, it’s a huge plus.
“Stu Crisp will be playing once he’s finished his NSW duties with the veterans side, so the first grade side will have a couple of those more-experienced players for the bulk of the season.”
Kinross have slightly changed up their structure this summer, with Litchfield taking a club coach role while Ben Ronald will player-coach the top grade and Walter Prowse will do the same in second grade.
“They’re both young teachers at the school and they’re both really looking forward to playing with their sides, they add two experienced players as well,” Litchfield said.
Kinross face CYMS at Wade Park from 11am this weekend while in the top grade’s other game Cavaliers play Centrals at Jack Brabham 1.
Both are 50-over, one-day games, with two-day fixtures starting the following round.
Reigning champions Orange City have a round two bye this weekend.