CHRIS Higgins is a long-time Nestles cricketer.
The son of John and Jane was born in Ararat in 1985 and was educated at Willaura Primary School and Lake Bolac Secondary College.
He's played football for Hampden league club Warrnambool and still plays cricket for Warrnambool and District Cricket Association club The Factory each summer.
Higgins goes Under the Auld Pump with TIM AULD.
Chris, what are your memories of the Warrnambool reserves footy grand final loss in 2009?
Terang Mortlake defeated us by two points. We had a good season in the reserves at Warrnambool and thought we could win the flag.
Terang Mortlake had the wind in the first half and got away to a good start. We played catch up footy for the rest of the day.
It was a highlight to play in that reserves grand final on one hand but on the other hand to be beaten by two points was very disappointing.
Where did your footy career begin?
I played a bit of school footy up at Monivae College and also for Hamilton's under 18 side in the old Western Border Football Netball League.
I also had a stint playing for Deakin University. My brother Joe was the last senior coach of the club before they folded at the end of the 2016 season.
Chris were you surprised the Sharks folded at the end of the 2016 season?
No. The players knew it was coming.
It was still a sad time to see the club fold.
The biggest problem was there were no junior players coming through the ranks. The club was calling on old players to come out of retirement to make up the numbers and you can't do that for long before everything folds over.
The Sharks were a great social club off the field. It's been said the pause button was pressed on the Sharks but it's pretty hard for clubs to come back after a few years out of the league.
I went back and played reserves footy for Warrnambool after the Sharks folded.
We were in the bottom five sides which meant we struggled.
Warrnambool is a great club and there is a top lot of players involved at the club but they are like so many other footy clubs - they are struggling for players.
I've hung up my boots after what I can best describe is an ordinary footy career.
I'll be among the fans watching Warrnambool play in 2020. I've got Chris Higgins Accounting as my business and it keeps me busy plus playing cricket for Nestles.
Let's talk about your cricket career for a moment. Where did your career start?
I started out playing at Lake Bolac juniors.
When I was going to university in Warrnambool I was studying commerce and I had a chat to Stephen Field, who was one of the leading cricket coaches in the district.
He suggested I have a game of cricket with Dunkeld as it was not far from the family farm at Willaura.
I ended up playing cricket at Dunkeld for four years. I played in a B grade premiership with Dunkeld in the Hamilton and District Cricket Association.
My highest score I made with Dunkeld was 70 not out against Cavendish in one game and I got five wickets for 20 runs in another game.
Chris, you mentioned that you played cricket for Nestles. What year did you start playing for Nestles?
It would have been in 2008. A few of my mates were playing at Nestles and I thought I would have a game with them.
I would have to say the most disappointing part of playing for Nestles happened in 2011. We were undefeated for the whole season and lost the grand final to West Warrnambool.
It was a terrible game for us, everything just happened to go wrong.
We lost momentum when we looked like getting on top.
I went in as the night watchman and was given out LBW. I hit the ball before it hit my pads.
I was terribly disappointed that I was given out that way but that's cricket - you've just got to get on with the game.
Nestles is the most successful cricket club in the local association. What do you put their success down to?
Nestles are a great club and has a proud history and had some wonderful players over the years, but sadly the club hasn't won a senior flag since 2003.
It's been a long premiership drought for the club.
I think we've won about 29 flags over the last 80 years, which is an amazing result.
We're in the middle of the table this year. Luck plays a big part in cricket and on some occasions the luck has not gone our way.
We've got some good young players coming through the ranks. We're just hoping the wheel will turn again in the near future and we can win another senior flag.
Brierly defeated us on Saturday. They're a very good side and will be the team to beat once the finals come around.
Russells Creek will also be in the mix but we've got a good record against them.
I think we've beaten them twice in the last three years so I'm not really worried about Russells Creek come finals time.
Talking about Russells Creek they recruited one of the best players in the competition Cam Williams from Nestles a few years ago. Is there any chance that Williams will come back to finish his career with Nestles?
I would love to think we could get Cam back to end his career with Nestles.
He's been a wonderful player for many years in the competition.
If we happened to recruit Cam I would say our chances of winning another flag would increase dramatically.
What do you think about the standard of local cricket?
It's a strong competition. I think the association has the right format in place with the one day games at the start of the season leading into the two day games.
They are plenty of people who are passionate about local cricket, no more then Ray Main and Gary Hetherington.
They share curator duties up at the Reid Oval and they do a sensational effort each and every week.