CRICKET training is going to be different at Darley Park.
New Darley coach Terry Moloney is keen to mix drills up a little and the Lions have injected experience – all in the name of building the Lions up as serious, respected finals contenders in the Ballarat Cricket Association.
Right-arm quick James Wheelahan opened the bowling with Australian international Shane Harwood for Melton in sub-district ranks. Now, Wheelahan is ready to bowl to Harwood, who made his return in destructive form to Brown Hill last summer.
The Lions have also regained the full-time services of strong top-order batsman Josh Bamford. Both will bolster a young Lions outfit and offer much-needed core support for pivotal all-round captain and reigning EJ Cleary medallist Matt Cape.
Moloney has looked at the Lions’ batting and bowling figures and knows he has some work to do.
“What I want to do at Darley is make them think about the game – not how to bat or what to bowl, but the whole game, their strengths and weaknesses and how to think it all through so they don’t panic,” Moloney said.
“We want respect. When people are playing Darley we want them to know it will be a hard, competitive game played in the right spirit on and off the ground.”
This is an approach Moloney has fine-tuned over a lengthy coaching career, including stints with sub-district clubs Werribee and Footscray and Victorian Premier Cricket Club Footscray-Edgewater where he was a junior development and Dowling Shield coach.
He said Darley reminds of his time at Victorian Turf Cricket Association club Seddon.
The prospect lured Moloney back into coaching after a five-year hiatus, and is also his way of getting involved in his new hometown.
Moloney says training will focus a lot on teamwork as well as the traditional time in the nets and this will include unexpected “silly games”.
Respect for teammates, he says, is a crucial part of being a good team.
Wheelahan moved to Darley for a new challenge, joining his cousin Brian Wheelahan in the Lions’ ranks.
“I’m excited to play under Matt Cape as a captain and helping him where I can,” Wheelahan said.
“I’m also looking forward to playing on different grounds, Ballarat grounds, each week.”
Moloney will meet with his new playing group on August 24. He takes over coaching duties from Cape, who was keen to scale back on-field duties this season.