Craigieburn looking at another strong season

Craigieburn’s Brodie Warren. (Shawn Smits) 201643_09

Tara Murray

Craigieburn is hoping to back up a finals appearance last season with another one in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 1 this season.

The Eagles were knocked out of the finals by eventual premier Westmeadows, but had a number of close results against them, which has left the Eagles with plenty of confidence heading into this season.

While it will be a different division 1 competition this season, with teams from the division 1 west and north competitions combining into one grade, Eagles coach Chris Laffan is confident they can be in the mix.

“It’s a little bit of an unknown with different sides and being a one day competition, where you can get different results,” he said.

“We felt and so did most other sides that Westmeadows was the benchmark last season and we had a couple of really good matches against them.

“Performing like that against a quality side, we will take that.

“We hope we can put it together again and will target to compete with the best sides. We will be targeting finals.”

The Eagles have maintained their playing group from last season, while added a couple of key additions.

Bageshwar Bisht who played for the Eagles in the 2018-19 returns after missing last season with a knee injury.

Narinder Sharma has come across from Diamond Valley Cricket Association side Bundoora and will add some more experience to the team.

Laffan said he believed that they had the right mix of youth and experience.

He said they were hoping the likes of Josh Eaton, Brodie Warren and Adam Davies would take that next step.

“We’ve got those guys and then we’ve got the experienced guys around them,” he said.

“We have a nice well rounded squad, which we normally always have and we’ll be looking to put together some good team cricket.”

Due to COVID-19, the shortened season will be all one-day matches.

While the Eagles would have struggled with that in the past, Laffan said they had addressed some areas and believed they were now a good one-day side.

“We’ve traditionally struggled in one-dayers as we think we have some bowlers who have the endurance and perseverance to bowl through long spells,” he said.

“It’s something we worked on last year and we got Sunny [Shupinder Taggar] in and he can bowl you eight overs.

“We tightened up a few screws and the experience from last year holds us in good stead.”

The Eagles returned to training Melbourne Cup week, with Laffan saying they had plenty of numbers on the track after the committee had done a mountain of work to make it happen.

“It was a definitely a favoured destination to interact and socialise for everyone.”

The Eagles kick off their season on Saturday against Spotswood at home.