A NEW-LOOK Nestles Cricket Club will work to restore its competitive and social brand for the approaching Warrnambool and District Cricket Association season.
The Factory have appointed a new president, Gary MacLean, and new joint captains Scott Kelly and Cameron Williams for the 2012/13 season.
MacLean, who joined the club in 1987, has replaced Peter Herbert at the top.
The Warrnambool-based construction manager yesterday conceded cricket did not have the same popularity as football in the south-west but maintained the traditional summer sport had its rightful place.
He hopes the Factory will thrive with enthusiastic members, on and off the field, in years to come.
“Cricket is not the most fashionable game going around,” he said. “But we just want people who are happy to play the game.
“We haven’t got a bad side already but it would be good to top up numbers. We want to be competitive.”
MacLean, 41, worked his way from the third division into Nestles’ top grade, where he was part of five premiership teams and captain-coached another in 2002/3.
He has opened the Factory’s Reid Oval doors to past players and associates who might want to return to the club, in any capacity.
“It’s a good place to be,” he said. “We always have a good time and we’ve been reasonably successful.
“I’ve been a part of six flags and I’ve made a lot of friends along the way. That’s what sport’s about.
“We really want to bring back that enjoyment in the club and make it a place where people want to be.”
MacLean has been involved with the Nestles committee “on and off” during his time at the club.
And with the support of his wife Narelle and two children, he ran for the top administrative role this month.
“I thought it was my time to put my hand up,” he said.
While MacLean will manage the show behind the scenes, Kelly and Williams will lead the club on the field, replacing Brett Eldridge.
Kelly, 28, said he was looking forward to more responsibility.
“Brett indicated towards the end of the season that he would be looking to step down,” Kelly said.
“Nothing was set in stone and nothing was said for a while. But then Gary approached me with the idea that Cam and I could take it on.
“The more I thought about, the more I thought it would be good for me and the club. So it wasn’t a hard decision to make.
“Not much is going to change. The team is going to be pretty much the same.
“But it’s probably a good time for the boys to hear a new voice.”
Kelly played all his cricket at Merrivale until he was 22, when he took a couple of seasons off, before join Nestles’ division four outfit for a “hit and giggle”.
“That was five years ago and all of a sudden I’m co-captaining division one,” he said.
Williams was vice-captain last year and went on to be the association’s joint cricketer of the year. Talented all-rounder Eldridge, who led The Factory to the grand final in March, will remain at the club as a player.