BRETT GASPER'S division one debut for Merrivale didn't go according to plan on a personal and team note.
The 43-year-old, who is also the president of the Warrnambool Wolves Soccer Club, pulled on the yellow and black for the first time at Davidson Oval on Saturday.
His first stint with the bat ended after four balls, scoring just one run. He was later handed the ball for just one over, which went for seven, in the Tiger's humbling nine-wicket defeat to West Warrnambool.
The Panthers, led by an unbeaten 79 from opener Ben Threlfall and a four-wicket haul from recruit David Heeps, easily chased down Merrivale's total of 119 in under 38 overs.
Gasper, who played his cricket in Geelong before moving with his young family to Warrnambool, said one Tiger had been in his ear to join the club.
"The link between Warrnambool Wolves and Merrivale sharing the same facilities (at Harris Street Reserve) led me to coming down here," he said.
"Jeremy's (Burgess) son plays in our under 12 side so we got talking during the year so it was an easy decision for me to join the Merrivale boys."
The train driver hopes he can be a leader within the top-grade side in his debut season at club.
"It's difficult with my work as far as training and stuff goes but I'm hoping I can provide a bit of experience in the middle order and get a few overs in," he said.
"We have got a lot of young guys in the team and hopefully I can help them along and develop them a bit."
Threlfall carried his bat through the entire innings to score his 79, which included 11 fours, from 118 balls and 106 minutes at the crease.
Charlie Blacker played a handy cameo for the star Panther, adding 36 of his own to the tally in a 111-run partnership.
Heeps, in his second came for West Warrnambool, claimed 4-22 from his nine overs.
The Panthers, who will lose star important Jack Sunderland for the rest of the season, now have two wins from two to start the new season.
Sunderland, who succumbed to a back stress fracture, will fly back to England on Monday.
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