Brooke Herbertson is undoubtedly one of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's trailblazers when it comes to promoting women's cricket and inspiring the next generation of talent in the south-west to pursue the sport.
The 34-year-old dual Nestles premiership player and captain in the women's competition is as passionate about the game as she is talented and a natural-born leader on and off the field.
It's why her latest challenge in the association's thriving women's competition is reason for excitement.
Herbertson will call Jetty Flat home in season 2023-24, joining Russells Creek's inaugural women's team as its marquee recruit.
The Creekers held their first ever women's training session on Monday, September 19 and it was hard to wipe the smile off Herbertson's face as she soaked up the excitement.
She said it was wonderful to be a part of a new chapter in the club's history and continue to grow the women's game in Warrnambool.
"I'm pretty excited. Ever since the first game in the competition three years ago the skill has gotten better and better," she said.
"I'm looking forward to going to a new club that's already got fantastic facilities and structure as well as culture.
"Them coming to me and wanting to build something bigger and better is so exciting."
Playing a significant role in building Nestles' women's program into a premiership-winning powerhouse it is, Herbertson - whose brother Cameron is the club's men's captain-coach - said having the "foundations" in place were important in establishing a strong and stable culture.
"It's about going back to the basics, learning the actual skills of the game and going from there," she said.
"Women's cricket in Warrnambool is still in its baby steps. We want to build it into being as big as the men's sport.
"It's about learning a new culture and bringing everyone together as a club, that's really important.
"We want to build a really strong leadership group that has a leader in an older sense that has good skills and we want to build our juniors into being good leaders in the future. That's our aim."
Herbertson said she "hated losing" but didn't want to set too high expectations in the club's first season in the competition which will kick off in mid-October.
She added numbers were fairly strong at this stage.
"We have expectations where we want to be skill-wise rather than winning games, building the girls from scratch," she said.
"A few of the girls have never played before, some have and some are coming back after many years so we'll take it week-by-week and build the skills every week.
"Numbers are looking good, but we'd love more to come along and give it a go. The facilities are amazing too and it's a great family club."
Anyone interested in joining the women's team can reach out to the club via its Facebook page.
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