NORTHERN Raiders believes its ready to join the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's division one, saying it can thrive among the district's top clubs.
The Rodger Henderson Oval-based club, which defeated Koroit to claim its second-straight division two premiership on Saturday, has never made any secret of its desire to earn promotion.
But captain Joe McKinnon told The Standard he felt the time was right after two seasons of dominance in the association's division two.
It was founded as the new identity of Grassmere Cricket Association outfit Purnim before Grassmere joined its ranks in 2021, bringing across several players and volunteers.
A large-scale fundraising campaign then took place in a bid to erect a turf pitch on the Rodger Henderson Oval surface, a requirement of joining division one.
I don't want to sound cocky or anything like that but I think for the club to keep going forward we do need to get the chance to go up.- Joe McKinnon
The turf wicket, a project in excess of $100,000, means the club has ticked every box in its quest to reach the top grade.
While the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association has flagged its interest in bringing in a promotion and relegation system, concrete plans are yet to be released.
Raiders captain Joe McKinnon said his club was ready to take the next step.
"We think we've really got the momentum going on now," he said.
"For us to sit back in division two, we think it could just hold us back a bit. I don't want to sound cocky or anything like that but I think for the club to keep going forward we do need to get the chance to go up.
"That's what's going to push us to bigger and better things. We really think now is the best time for us to go up and get a good shot at division one."
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McKinnon said the club was under no illusions it would need to add to its list but backed the talent it had on hand.
"It's pretty easy as a captain when you've got as many options as we do," he said.
"I can change it up if something isn't working and I know the next bloke will.
"That's always handy as a captain but we're doing really well as a club. Off-field they're getting driven well from the committee.
"Everything is starting to fall into place and the club is just absolutely flying. The thing that has made us so strong is definitely our volunteers and all our supporters and that. That's probably our biggest key."
The Raiders recorded a 24-run victory over Koroit in Saturday's division two decider without star batsman Dallas Armitstead who missed the match through illness.
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