Warriors keen for a challenge

Darrel Brown is playing on which is a bonus for Westmeadows. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 203267_03

Tara Murray

Westmeadows is itching to get onto the pitch and test itself against the best in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division.

The Warriors are playing in the top grade for the first time after claiming the division 1 north premiership last season.

Warriors captain-coach Tarek Moughanie said it was a bit surreal to know the cricket season was around the corner after everything that has happened this year.

“We can hopefully start training in three weeks,” he said.

“We are looking forward to getting out there.”

The Warriors will take in a similar team as last season into the new season, with one big attention.

Malith Cooray, who has played against the Warriors in recent seasons with Glenroy, has made the move across.

Moughanie said Cooray would be a very handy pick up and help strengthen their side.

“I’m really looking forward to him joining the club.”

Darrel Brown who was set to retire will continue on for another year.

“He said he would retire and then he was keen to play a handful of one-dayers,” Moughanie said. “The fixture [only being one-dayers] has played into our hands.

“He was crucial for us last season and I think it’s the best I’ve seen him bowl in 10 years.”

Moughanie said the biggest thing for them this season was going to be closing the gap between the better performers and the others in the team.

He said they were hopeful that the likes of Clayton Campbell, Aaron Evans, Ryan Blair and Rhys Gleisner can continue to make some more improvement

“We have to be a more consistent team to be a successful team in the senior division.

“We know we can trust each other and hopefully that helps in close games in a team game

“We need to improve 15-20 per cent to be competitive. We’re not intimidated by the standard and we’re looking forward to playing that better standard of cricket.

“We have to refine our skills a bit and improve our game. We have the players, skills and capability on our day.”

Moughanie said while they believed they were a better two-day side than a one-day team, they know they have the match winners they need in the team.

He said they would start training as soon as they were allowed when restrictions ease. The season is expected to start late November.

“We’ll be looking at playing practice matches as soon as possible,” he said.

“We’ll also look at playing T20s on our own against other teams during the season.

“We can’t rely on our ability, we have to train hard.”