MERRIVALE is ushering in a new era.
Tigers coach Jeremy Burgess is backing the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association club’s teenagers in division one.
“We’ve had about half a dozen throughout the whole year,” he said during the Tigers’ two-day game against Wesley-CBC on Saturday.
“We had Hugh Fleming and Flynn Wilkinson play the last three games.
“They’re 14 year olds and we’ve got a 17-year-old, 16-year-old and one has just turned 18 today, Jack Holley.”
Burgess said Hugh Fleming, the son of Simon, and Wilkinson, son of Matt, had strong ties to the Tigers.
“They’re taking on the advice through the year and are really working well with us,” he said.
“Me and ‘Stapes’ (Josh Stapleton) are trying to guide them through and they’ve been really good.
“They’ve come from good bloodlines with their dads playing a lot of senior division one cricket with Merrivale so they’ve got their instincts as well like their dads.”
The duo didn’t play on Saturday but will be seen at the top-grade level again in 2018-19.
“They’re going to play a lot of division one cricket down here and a lot of representative cricket as well,” Burgess said.
“It is great to have them onboard with us and they’re kids who won’t go anywhere else (to play) other than Melbourne so to have them is a bonus for us.”
Burgess is enjoying a solid season himself, having made 375 runs at an average of 37.
But he had a forgettable start to the long-form games, out for just nine after opening the batting.
“Not ideal, single figures I think today but (Wesley-CBC bowler) Tommy Bowman got me a good one, so that happens,” Burgess said.
“I’ve had a good year, it’s been pretty comfortable.
“I’ve had a couple of fails which sort of happens but I do pride myself on good performances for the team and being the coach, you want to be the guy who is leading the way and showing the young guys how it’s done.”
Merrivale is currently 6-118 off 53 with Stapleton top-scoring with 48.