A healthy mix of young and experienced players will help Bundoora RSL’s performance in the Bowls Victoria pennant premier division season.
Vice-captain Ben Hubber said the team was looking good amid the season kicking off.
Bundoora have won both their games so far.
The team dominated Mentone in the opening round, winning 100 (18)-47 (0).
Facing Croydon in round two, Bundoora took home the win although the rinks were evenly split.
Hubber said it was an exciting team to be in.
“We are a pretty young side overall, but with plenty of experience mixed in,” he said.
“We are lucky enough to have Irish international Gary Kelly back with us this year and Australian player Corey Wedlock from [New South Wales] which will hopefully fast-track the development of some of our younger players.”
Wedlock is commuting interstate each weekend to play with the team.
While the playing group is strong, club legend Adam Galloway is absent this season.
Hubber said the star has taken a break from bowls for this year.
Nathan Murray has also departed the club.
On the flip side, Hubber said the new recruits were exciting.
“We recruited [Graham] Guy from Whittlesea, and a young gun in Brody Harker who is traveling down from Swan Hill each week and has been a stand out performer in the first two games this year.”
Hubber said the club was very happy with how the season had taken off.
He said captain Josh Corless, who has skipped his team to victory in both matches, was settling in to the role.
“It’s been good to see some younger players take some opportunities and others settling into new roles within the team,” Hubber said.
“Our captain Corless has also played well in big moments.
“It’s obviously been a privilege to have [Kelly] and [Wedlock] in the side but when they are unavailable we need to rely on our home grown talent to step up, and I think we are capable of that.”
Hubber said the COVID-19 pandemic and Victoria’s lockdowns had impacted the team’s ability to prepare.
“We are a team who really pride ourselves on preparation, so COVID-19 certainly threw up some challenges, but we are working through it as best we can,” he said.
“Our playing group has done well so far to not be too distracted by the limited preparation.”
Hubber said that despite the pandemic, individuals from the club were able to have some shining moments and personal achievements.
Skipper Dean O’Neil was selected to participate in an Australian pathway development squad, and had represented the state against Tasmania earlier this year.
“We also have Liam Turner who is the current Victorian under-18 singles winner in our side,” Hubber said.
“Also Damon Di Florio has qualified for the Australian indoor singles, to be played in Tweed Heads.”