Jeremy Kiensrod keen to establish himself as a bona fide division one player with Russells Creek

STEPPING UP: Jeremy Kiensrod has burst into division one with Russells Creek after a couple of years in lower grades. Picture: Morgan Hancock
STEPPING UP: Jeremy Kiensrod has burst into division one with Russells Creek after a couple of years in lower grades. Picture: Morgan Hancock

JEREMY Kiensrod always preferred football to cricket.

But with Russells Creek eyeing a second-consecutive finals series and its maiden division one premiership, the 22-year-old could be mistaken for a career cricketer.

“I always found footy to be a bit more fun,” Kiensrod said.

“I went through stages where I couldn’t really be bothered with cricket but in saying that, I’ve always felt I was better at cricket.

“I do play cricket for the enjoyment of it, but I definitely want to win. I’m also pretty hard on myself. I’ve had to tell myself that in stepping into division one, it’s not going to be as easy to perform as I’d like to straight away.”

Kiensrod was on the fringe of division one selection last season, but knew opportunities would be limited in a talent-laden top-order.

This season, he’s been thrown in the deep end. And while the tiler is finding his feet, he’s shown glimpses of top-grade class.

“Playing the twos didn’t worry me at all, we’d just won the grand final and there was a great vibe around the side. We knew we’d have a really similar sort of team again,” Kiensrod said.

“I know (captain Cam Williams) said last year if I was in division one, I would have been batting eight, nine or 10 but I’ve had the chance to open the batting and I’ve been given a real go.

Kiensrod was integral in rescuing Creek from a middle-order collapse against Woodford last Saturday, steadying the ship with a solid 32-run total.

Corey McCullagh

Corey McCullagh

He revealed he had modelled his game on Williams, who is also a left-handed batsman.

“It’s really good to watch him, especially when he’s early either opening or at number three,” Kiensrod said.

“If I’m struggling I just watch how he’s going about it because he’s obviously one of the top players in the league.

“I did that when we played Dennington the other week. Cam and I had a partnership of about 80, of which I made about five of.”

Kiensrod is also an avid supporter of Warrnambool sprintcar driver Corey McCullagh, offering a helping hand in the pits.

He was on hand to watch the McCullagh’s against-all-odds triumph in the South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in January.

“I obviously try to get out there as much as I can – I don’t think I’ve missed any meetings (at Premier Speedway),” Kiensrod said.

“We’re good mates through karts and I try to support him and help with whatever I can do that I won’t stuff up.”