by Michaela Meade
A strict coaching program will hopefully lead Epping to finals of the Diamond Valley Cricket Association Barclay Shield.
The Pingers opened their season well last week, with a win against Research Eltham Collegians.
Coach John Bubis said it had been a good start to the season for the club.
Bubis joins the Pingers in a coaching role this season, while playing in the second team. He has more than 18 years coaching experience.
“There’s a good vibe around the club,” he said.
“Obviously [it had been] a bit hard with COVID-19 at the start of the season, but everything’s back to normal now.
“Everyone’s really keen to come back.
“I’m finding that… everyone’s keen to get to training, because obviously we’ve been locked up for so long.”
Bubis comes to the club with what he describes as a tough approach that will hopefully pay off with a premiership title down the track.
He said the club contacted him about the opportunity, seeking his kind of approach.
“I’m a bit of a hard coach,” Bubis said.
“I’m a stickler for rules at training – we train my way, not their way.
“They wanted a hard nut coach, a bit of an old school coach, and that’s what they’re getting at the moment.
“This year, different coaching methods have been instilled into the players, into their brains, to think about the game differently.
“With the guidance of myself, hopefully they’ll only get better and better.”
Bubis said newly appointed first XI captain Tom Emmins had started off well in his new position.
A win right off the bat for the season was a good starting point for Emmins and the team as a whole, Bubis said.
“At the moment, he’s going well,” Bubis said.
“Hopefully, from all the hard training that they’ve done, that’s going to pay off in weeks to come.
“I think they’re playing as a group, as a team, where previously they were a bit individualised.”
Bubis said there was an impressive amount of “mateship” on display at the club.
He said the team was starting to gel as a more cohesive unit.
“[They] are starting to realise that they’ve got to play for each other,” Bubis said.
“There’s still a bit of work to do on that, and I just try to instill that into them week in and week out.
“Hopefully they’ll only get better and better as the weeks go on.”
Bubis said top players Josh Henkel and Todd Hughes were ones to watch throughout the competition.
Henkel and Hughes were both among the runs early, making 70 and 66 respectively in their first win.
Bubis said new recruit and “fastball” Daniel Bramich would also prove interesting to watch.
Bramich played with Plenty Valley in the Victorian-Sub-District Cricket Association last season, having been a key player for North Metro Cricket Association powerhouse Rivergum previously.
Epping was due to face Riverside this weekend, after deadline.
For results, go to www.northern.starweekly.com.au/sport.