Labbad steps up at Tulla

(Jacob Pattison)374047_05

A love of the club has seen Peter Laddad take on the captain-coach at Tullamarine Cricket Club.

The Victorian Turf Cricket Association club announced that Laddad would take on the role, something he has done previously.

Laddad said he didn’t plan on coaching at a senior level again, but things beyond the club’s control have seen him step up.

“I was first captain-coach in 2003-04 when I was in my early 30s,” he said. “I’m 51 now and have done my time there. Ten to 15 years as captain-coach, coached the seniors and I’ve been captain on the twos for a long time.

“But the club is in a terrible position with the lack of rooms. We’re in trouble. I want the club to survive and the kids have somewhere to play and to be able to play turf cricket.”

Laddad said the club’s new rooms at Leo Dineen Reserve may not be ready until December or January, meaning three seasons of interruptions.

He said the inability to have team dinners, have proper canteen and bar facilities, and just have people around the club has taken its toll.

“There’s nothing we can do,” he said. “I’ve been around the club for a long time and I’m doing this to give back.

Laddad said while they were set to lose some players, with some of their internationals heading to the country due to their visas.

He said others had decided to stick around after hearing that Laddad would be coaching.

Laddad will also coach the under-14s continuing to coach the side he started with at under-10s.

On the senior side, Laddad said the focus would be on youth and bringing them through.

He said he would bat and bowl where needed, but was focused on giving the next generation an opportunity.

“We’ll play a lot of kids,” he said. “Our under-16s this year will play a lot and we’ll build for them to take over.

“We still have a solid base and we could finish in the top four. It’s not about the wins of losses.”

Tara Murray