SKIPPER Nathan Murphy is backing Warrnambool’s “core group” to perform as it chases Melbourne Country Week redemption.
The Brierly-Christ Church stalwart wants unity to drive Warrnambool’s pursuit of provincial grade success, with leaders hosting team bonding sessions in the lead-up to the tournament.
“I’m a big believer in a core group sticking together. We haven’t had to make too many changes (this year),” Murphy, a schoolteacher, said.
I’m a big believer in a core group sticking together.Nathan Murphy
“We’re doing a lot of work to make sure we know each other well. We even got together last Sunday and had a low-key barbecue to make sure the new guys felt a part of it.
“On Sunday we’ll get the team together again and we’ll all understand our roles.”
Selectors drafted three new faces into the squad – including Allansford’s Chris Bant, West Warrnambool’s Jack Sunderland and Wesley-CBC’s Ben Evans.
Murphy revealed he was crafting clear roles with each player in the side.
“I’ll sit down on Sunday and communicate which role I envisage for each player,” the 30-year-old told The Standard.
“You’ve got to be able to have these sorts of open conversations with the guys. You’ve got to know your role, but you have to be flexible.
“Cricket is a game with many possible scenarios and players have to analyse that and always be prepared to change in a game.”
The top-order batsman expected new spinner Ben Evans to play a pivotal role in Warrnambool’s fortunes.
“We had good competition for that spin spot, with Joey Kenna and Ben really fighting it out,” Murphy said.
“We went with Benny purely because of his left-arm orthodox style – and we’re really happy with how he’s bowled against both Greenvale and Colac in our pracitce games.
“He bowls with a lot of guts and just isn’t afraid to toss it up.”