WOODFORD captain-coach John Houston has raised the idea of a Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one finals shake-up.
Twelve teams will vie for four finals spots, following the addition of East Warrnambool YCW and Nirranda to the premier grade for the 2012-13 season.
WDCA’s division one competition had eight teams in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, before expanding to 10 teams for 2011-12.
“At the end of the day, eight teams miss finals,” Houston said.
“It’s not good odds, is it? If they are going to go to a 12-team competition, they have to do something about the finals set-up, I think, whether it’s an eight-team finals.”
Houston, whose Eels joined division one for the 2010-11 season, said clubs wanting to play at the highest level was positive but there were downfalls to having an expanded competition.
“I don’t know whether it’s the right decision or not but I can understand it,” he said.
“I am a fan of eight teams and playing everyone twice.
“This way we play each other once and weather can become the deciding factor in whether the game is won, lost or drawn.”
Houston said it was important to gauge people’s views on the matter. “Ten different blokes look at it 10 different ways,” he said.
WDCA general manager Andrew Sloane said the more teams playing cricket, the better.
“The WDCA will need to review a lot of aspects of the competition with the increase in teams and finals may be one of them,” he said.
Houston said Woodford, which missed finals last season, was primed for a finals assault.
“Our core blokes have done a lot of work but with the (North Warrnambool Eagles) footy boys finishing in the preliminary final or grand final, it’s hampered a few blokes’ preparation,” he said.
“But they are all fit. It’s just about getting their eye in.”
Houston said the Eels’ teenage duo Nick Butters and Jake McKinnon had promising futures.
He said Butters was an all-rounder in the Shane Watson-mould. “Nick came to the club two years ago and has shown huge improvement,” he said.
“He was runner-up in the league best-and-fairest last year and I reckon he’s not only a great player for us but for the league.
“He is an opening bat who hits the ball cleanly and either an opening or first change bowler.
“He is a really smart cricketer and thinks about the game a lot.”
Woodford starts its WDCA division one campaign against Allansford on October 13.