A former Essendon Maribyrnong Park premiership spinner and Victorian underage representative will return to Premier Cricket this season in a vital role for Geelong.
Dunkeld-based Jessica Field returns to cricket this season after a year off in 2021-22 and will take on a playing role alongside a development coaching position in the club's thriving junior Puma academy.
The 19-year-old - who played 21 first XI games for the Bombers including 30 wickets - was a member of EMP's 2020-21 premiership team and is one of the brightest prospects in the state.
She has previously played for Victoria in the under 16s and under 19s and represented the Western Waves in 19 matches to great success.
She told The Standard she was thrilled to join the club and get back to playing the game she loves.
"During year 12 and COVID, I decided to just focus on that for a bit, the travel was definitely getting a bit hard doing VCE and travelling to Melbourne three times a week at times," she said.
"During the second half of the season I did miss it when I had all that stress out of the way.
"I'm glad that I did take the year off so I could focus on school but now I'm very excited for the season at Geelong and hopefully I'll have a good year."
The 19-year-old said the decision to join the Cattery - alongside plenty of familiar south-west names such as Warrnambool's Steph Townsend - made "sense".
"Travel was a big thing, especially because I was coming from Dunkeld, it's three hours to Melbourne - I loved my time at EMP and I'm grateful for my whole time, they were great but it's a common sense move (to Geelong)," she said.
"I have my whole family at the club, my dad (Stephen) is obviously part of it and my brother plays down there and women's cricket is growing rapidly down here (in the south-west) so I just wanted to be a part of it. It's a good community to be in."
Field said the opportunity to work with and share experiences with some of the south-west's most promising young female cricketers was exciting and hoped to give back to the pathway which developed her game.
"I'll be working with Grace Lee with the Pumas squad, working mostly around home with the south-west girls but my role will be giving guidance to the girls going through the same thing as me with their cricket," she said.
"I'm so excited for that and to see the talent."
The off-spinner was a potent wicket-taker in her last season at the Bombers, which included a haul of 4-34 against Ringwood and hoped to contribute to the on-field success in a list she believed was "exciting".
"Because I had my year off I'm just looking forward to getting back onto the ground with a great bunch of girls and seeing how it all goes," she said.
"I think getting back out there, hopefully as a team we can create a really good attack and work towards getting into Premier ones."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.