A SUMMER of English cricket has one of Nestles' brightest talents primed for a breakout season.
Factory all-rounder Jacob Hetherington is hoping to spearhead's Nestles' bid for finals action.
The 20-year-old, who blasted 667 runs and 39 wickets in a successful English stint, also wants to build leadership credentials.
"Things are a little bit more spread out now that Alex (Strauch) is coaching," Hetherington said.
I think the younger guys like me can step up and become leaders.Jacob Hetherington
"Wizz (captain Geoff Williams) has a bit more off his plate so I think the younger guys like me can step up and become leaders."
Williams believes Hetherington has shown leadership potential since junior cricket.
"Jacob was always the leader of the young group that came through the junior grades when I was coaching them," Williams said.
"Now he's had the experience overseas he can bring back that knowledge and help us.
"I'm looking forward to having Jake's input."
Hetherington's English stint etched his name in Wigan-based club Norley Wood's history books.
Hetherington, crowned club champion, was also the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition club's most prolific batsman.
The former Old Collegians footballer is determined to carry that form into his domestic game.
He claimed 15 scalps and 342 runs for Nestles last season but hopes to improve both totals as his club plots a return to Warrnambool and District Cricket Association finals.
"I've had 12 months of cricket straight through and hopefully I can carry a bit of the (English) form through," Hetherington said.
"We all want to make more runs and take a few more wickets but we all need to step up.
"We fell short of finals last year by a few spots as we lost a few key games."
Though he's cemented a middle-order berth, Williams hinted Hetherington could climb the batting order.
"The thing for Jake, like all locals, is turning those 20s and 30s into 50s and 60s," Williams said.
"He knows his game inside and out. His bowling is just as good as his batting and he's been a bit unlucky in my eyes.
"He's been putting the pressure on for a few years and the wickets fall at the other end.
"We're looking forward to seeing what he'll bring - whether that's here or in Geelong or Melbourne in future.
"He's not over 21 and already has about 50 division one games to his name. I think he's ready to take that next step."
Nestles faces Woodford and in-form Eels skipper Nick Butters at Bushfield on Saturday.
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