THE Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) season is just two weeks old, but Leigh Pollard is already impressed.
The Brierly-Christ Church recruit hails from Benalla and has been a regular Benalla and District Cricket Association representative squad member.
His first few weeks at the Bulls have taught him why the WDCA has been a force at Melbourne Country Week.
“Moving to Warrnambool, one major difference I’ve noticed is the seriousness with which the association and all the clubs take their cricket. It’s really refreshing,” he said.
“Coming from an association that is quite high up in the Country Week scene — Benalla is still in the second division, our best players are really good — but the club structure is really struggling. It’s refreshing to come to an association that seems like it’s thriving.”
Pollard, 32, has shifted to Warrnambool with his wife Courtney, who hailed from the region, and twin sons Jack and Charlie.
He signed with the Bulls on the advice of committee member Brendan Hawkins. The pair work together at Westvic Staffing Solutions.
Club president Dave Ryan, who works next door at VECCI, also influenced his decision.
“They spoke to me early on. They put their vision to me and what the club was working towards, how they’re improving on and off the field,” Pollard said.
“There’s a lot of really good, young kids down there and a lot of talent. Me being a bit older, it’s a good opportunity to try and help these young kids develop.”
The WDCA is yet to see the best out of Pollard, who bats in the middle order and bowls off-spin, in the Twenty20 competition.
He made 24 not out against Woodford in his only stint at the crease and has taken just one wicket, against Nirranda.
But he enters the WDCA having tallied 316 runs and taken 19 wickets as Benalla captain last season.
“I’ve only played a couple of games and Twenty20 isn’t my go. But the quality of the games has been really good,” he said.
Brierly-Christ Church will wrap up its Twenty20 campaign against West Warrnambool and East Warrnambool-YCW at Mack Oval today.
The Bulls are fourth with a 3-1 record entering the final day.