LEWIS Eldridge hopes a change to his bowling style will result in more wickets.
The emerging cricketer is preparing for his third season at Victoria Premier Cricket club Geelong.
But, with COVID-19 restrictions sidelining metropolitan-based teams, he expects to start his 2021-22 campaign with Warrnambool and District Cricket Association club Nestles.
The Factory has started training ahead of its season, which has also been delayed due to limitations on competition sport in regional Victoria.
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Eldridge, 21, said he was happy to suit up for his home club. He wants to use his new bowling technique to claim early-season wickets for Nestles.
"I have gone from swing to pace and I'm trying to work in both," Eldridge said.
"I have really worked on my pace in the last year or so, especially to work into that premier level a lot of pace is required, so I am trying to improve that.
"A lot of the coaches around Geelong are very helpful with stuff like that and very picky with their action and very successful with their own.
"It's been good to listen to them and improve my pace which is something I have always wanted to do."
As to whether or not it's working? Eldridge said signs were promising.
"The Nestles boys certainly said I did (have more pace) which is a good sign," he said.
Eldridge said he was grateful he could train with Nestles and felt for metropolitan-based players who were still waiting for the all clear from the state government.
"We (Geelong) only play against Melbourne teams, so there's no real starting date for premier cricket," he said.
"Local cricket will start a bit earlier so I will be playing for Nestles in the meantime.
"For November at least I'll be down here playing for Nestles.
"It's always good to be back. Any chance I get to come back here and play, if I am not playing for Geelong, is great. We're certainly hoping to fight for a finals chance; I know we have been for a couple of seasons.
"That is a vision which hasn't left our sight. Everyone at the club is very capable of themselves and we all think we can make finals and be deserving of it."
Eldridge wants to push into Geelong's Second XI when premier cricket resumes.
"I spent the first two seasons in the bottom two grades and who knows what will happen this year," he said.
"I am hoping to reach div two or upwards and see how we go from there. Coming into my early 20s and improving over the last year or so I feel I have a bit to offer there.
"Being in lockdown I've had plenty of time to workout and improve myself.
Eldridge is completing his final year of exercise and sports science at Deakin University in Geelong. He plans to do a strength and conditioning honours degree next year.
"I have a decent balance with uni being a fair bit of the requirement and priority up there but cricket falls in as a close second," Eldridge said.
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