EAST Warrnambool YCW captain-coach Daniel Oakley expects his side to make the most of its promotion to Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s premier grade.
Oakley said while it would take time for East Warrnambool YCW to adjust to division one, it had recruited well and had an eight-week pre-season training block to prepare.
East Warrnambool YCW and Nirranda were elevated in August, expanding division one to 12 teams for the 2012-13 season, which starts on October 13.
Oakley, who captained the club’s division two side to a grand final last season, said his division one team would improve as the season progressed and players adjusted.
“We don’t want to set our sights too high and not too low either,” Oakley said.
“We’re not there to make up the numbers.
“Batting and fielding is a big step up in division one.
“There is not much of a reprieve from the bowlers.”
In a bid to strengthen its list, the club recruited West Warrnambool all-rounder Michael Townsend as an assistant coach in July.
It has since welcomed Sri Lankan off-spinner Tharanga Fernando and brothers Cameron and Mitchell Harker. Former opening batsman Tim Parsons has also returned.
Fernando previously played for Dennington and was named in WDCA’s 2008-09 team of the year.
The middle order batsman will arrive in Australia in two weeks’ time, missing the opening rounds of the season.
Cameron Harker has played for Carrum in the Mornington Peninsula league and is now based in Warrnambool, while his brother will commute from Portland to play.
Oakley said Mitchell and Parsons were touted as East Warrnambool YCW’s opening bats.
“We will give Mitchell a go,” he said. “He has been good to come over and play and looks quite capable.”
East Warrnambool YCW president Peter Baulch said the club was “very well prepared”.
“We have 12 to 14 players very capable of playing division one and, with the recruits, we have bolstered the division two side as well,” he said.
Baulch said he believed the club last played division one in the 1993-94 season and was determined to make the most of its chance. “The club has had to work very hard to get where we are to prove to the league we’d be beneficial to division one,” he said.
“I am working on an under 17s side for next year. It is hard at the moment but the league wants division one clubs to have under 17s. I will continue to try like I have been.”
Off the field, Baulch said the Jones Oval-based club was flying.
“We have a very strong social committee and have spent $40,000 on new training facilities and covers,” he said.
East Warrnambool YCW will have an In2Cricket under 11 sign-up day on Sunday, October 21, from 11am.