JAKOB Stennett wants Nirranda to show it means business.
The reappointed skipper is spearheading the Knights' charge to establish itself as a division one power.
Speculation is swirling the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association will implement a system based on promotion and relegation as it looks to cater for extra teams crossing from the retiring Grassmere Cricket Association.
It could mean teams like Nirranda - who have a division two outfit as their top side - have a direct route to a higher grade.
Stennett said the Knights were "absolutely" focused on promotion if the opportunity was on the horizon.
"We sat down before I signed and one of the biggest things we went through as a committee was that the club can either fold in on itself and do nothing or it can take the next step and move back into contention," he said.
One of the biggest things we went through as a committee was that the club can either fold in on itself and do nothing or it can take the next step and move back into contention.Jakob Stennett
"The way our list stands at the moment, we've got a fair chunk of players. We've only really lost one and the retention has been strong.
"I think our oldest player will be about 30 and really, you can play until you're over 40 in this day and age. That suggests we can keep a core group together for a long time.
"I think getting back to division one would be a great feat for the club and I think it's a cool system."
Stennett, who will take on the top job solo this coming summer, said his first season in charge with club stalwart Chris Haberfield was full of learnings.
He said Haberfield would remain involved at the club and would act as an unofficial sounding board and thanked the committee for the opportunity to lead as a standalone captain.
"I think the biggest thing he's taught me is how to manage myself with the players and liaising with the club's committee and people and so forth," Stennett told The Standard.
"He's such a lovely fella and has a way with words in how he speaks and that's the main thing I'll try to invoke in my skill set.
"I really want the club to be one regardless of whether you're playing in the twos or threes."
Stennett said the signing of Chamika Fernando, the Knights' first recruit of the off-season, was evidence the club was making strong progress.
He said Fernando, who most recently played at former Grassmere Cricket Association club Wangoom, was a raw talent.
"He's one of the best cricketers I've seen, full stop. He's a player who is an opening batsman and also one of the better spin bowlers around," Stennett said.
"He's only played on astro (hard) turf down here and hasn't played on a grass turf wicket. I can't wait to see what he brings to the club.
"I think it's a sign we're ready to take the next step and it's a recruit which helps us create real depth."
Fernando's statistical output proved his value, Stennett said.
"He's had 43 wickets and 700-odd runs over two seasons at Wangoom and that's an awesome feat in itself," he said.
Stennett revealed Nirranda was on the cusp of adding more talent to its ranks.
He said "three or four players you don't usually get" were nearly signed to feature in 2021-22.
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