EXPERIENCED Nestles coach Alex Strauch says first-year skipper Jake Hetherington is exceeding expectations in his first stint as a division one captain.
Factory has enjoyed a remarkable 2021-22 and is fourth heading into the second last round of Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one action on Saturday.
It marks a stark turnaround from its ninth-place finish this past season.
Strauch said Hetherington, a photography student, had been "unbelievable" as a leader.
"He's not afraid to do things his own way. We know 'Chook' isn't shy about wanting to have a good time but he's really instilled that enjoyment as part of cricket," he said.
"He was a bit upset he got tapped around a bit with the ball against Russells Creek last week, even though he got two big wickets in Cam (Williams) and Rookie (Weerasinghe) so it was great to see him get 70-odd with the bat.
"He took the bit between his teeth and Wiz (Geoff Williams) went with him but it was a pretty easy watch in the end."
Strauch said Hetherington's "endeavour and commitment" had been stand-out features as a leader.
The lifelong Factory talent is among the roughies for cricketer of the year and has enjoyed a solid season with bat and ball. Nestles will play Allansford-Panmure at Reid Oval on Saturday in a game which could cement its place in the top-four.
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