New leadership duo for South Morang

Tony Chessler

Tara Murray

South Morang is hoping a fresh voice will help the club step up on field in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association Mash Shield.

The Lions have been down the bottom of the table in recent years, despite massive growth across the club as a whole.

The club last week announced club life member Tony Chessler as head of coaching and head coach and Karl Heckmann has been appointed first XI captain.

President Paul Martin said while they had some great numbers, they wanted to look to get more people involved with the South Morang community growing.

“We’ve been going for more than 75 years and we had six senior sides,” he said.

“We’ve also got two women’s sides and an over-40 side.

“We are working on making sure we get some more people across and maintain those people and give back into the community.”

Martin admits that the side hadn’t really been going anywhere the last few years and were hoping to rise up the ladder.

For Chessler, he has always been interested in coaching, but it wasn’t until now he was keen to coach the senior side.

“I’ve been involved in the club since 1983,” he said. “I was there for a good 25 years before I retired.

“I’ve come back and this is my fourth season back. I’ve done assistant coaching roles, I’ve captained a couple of senior sides since coming out of retirement.

“I’ve been chairman of selectors and I was a junior coach for about eight years.”

Chessler said he was setting no expectations heading into the season. He said the focus was on improving the standards at the club and see what comes of that.

“I want to set professional standards,” he said. “I want to lead by example and drive the culture at the club.

“I want to develop the younger players and develop the club as a whole. I want to have a forward vision and strategies in place.”

Chessler said he was keen to drive a winning culture, so the club can have sustained success.

He said he was keen to get as many people as possible, including past members, to help with the family vibe of the club.

“It’s an exciting time and exciting place to be. There’s the right club culture.”