NEW Brierly-Christ Church mentor Lachi Rooke believes his club is still in a position to challenge for a second Warrnambool and District Cricket Association premiership.
Rooke has replaced Kalon Wilkie in the Bulls' top job while three-time cricketer-of-the-year Mark Murphy take charge of game-day leadership as captain.
The pair, who are close friends off-field, are currently devising plans for the summer and are expected to focus on targeted recruiting and junior promotion to the fill the void of departed skipper Matthew Love.
Rooke said he hoped to bring fresh ideas to the role and would focus on player development and strengthening the club across all senior, juniors and female divisions.
I really want to have those relationships across all grades, keeping that one-club mentality.Lachi Rooke
"I really want to have those relationships across all grades, keeping that one-club mentality," he told The Standard.
"Hopefully I'll be able to work and communicate well and I want to bring plenty of energy and fun to the role.
"Our juniors have been very strong - we won the under 15 premiership this past season - and we want to look after our own and give them opportunities. We want to be successful right through."
Rooke, a lifelong Brierly-Christ Church player, said his club was keen to retain its core of talent. He said the club wouldn't implement a large recruiting drive.
He said he was excited to work closely with Murphy, who most recently captained in 2019. "I always thought I'd be a better coach than I would be a captain," Rooke laughed.
"Mark is great with the game-day stuff and he has a great cricket brain. I think it relieves a little bit of that pressure (having the leadership spread). "I'll be a playing coach and I'll be there for input but my main domain will be developing everyone and working with the captains of each division to help them put plans in place."
Rooke said while Brierly-Christ Church wasn't undergoing a rebuild, he expected more opportunities to become available for existing players.
"I think we've kept the core group together," he said. "Lovey is a huge loss but it's an exciting time for us. We've still got some very good talent there."
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