Coach: Darren Wilson
Arrivals: Lachy Snaith (Ballan), Andrew Milroy (East Ballarat)
Last year: Sixth
Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club is putting its faith in the hands of its up and coming players.
Young gun Jayden Hayes will captain the first XI while fellow youngster Billy Jones is vice-captain.
Coach Darren Wilson, who has taken on the senor role having been involved in a successful junior program, said the club had taken the direction of developing from within and while not all their junior products will play at the top level this season it is confident it will be well set-up for the coming years.
“We’ve had a lot of success in our junior program, there’s a lot of quality players that have come through the program,” Wilson.
“In due course these guys will work their way into the first XI.”
Coach: Dan Davies
Arrivals: Joe Crichard (England), Cameron Tonkin (Interstate), Matthew McMahon (Returning), Amal Ranawaka (Sunshine)
Departures: Shane Harwood (Retired), Jason Knowles (Geelong)
Last year: Second
The loss of key players Shane Harwood and Jason Knowles will undoubtedly leave a dent in the Brown Hill batting line-up but coach Dan Davies is confident a fruitful off-season will fill the void.
Brown Hill has recruited four players that it expects to play key roles in the club’s bid to go one step further in 2016-17 after going down in last season’s grand final.
It has been in the past three grand finals and Davies believes its batting is something it must improve.
“We’ve played in the last three grand finals and we’ve won one of those. Our batting has let us down and our focus was more on batting,” Davies said.
“Obviously we’ve been strong the last few years but we think we should be just as strong this year with all the guys we’ve picked up.”
Coach: Heath Pritchard
Arrivals: Hasitha Wickramasinghe (Sri Lanka), Lachlan Herring (Returning), Alan Steenholdt (Returning)
Departures: Harry Killoran (Returning to England)
Last year: Fifth
Darley coach Heath Pritchard is confident the addition of some key inclusions and the continued development of its younger players will have the Lions knocking on the door of the top four once again.
The Lions missed last year’s finals by just one point after a dramatic final round saw it fall from potential minor premier to finals onlooker.
Pritchard said the inclusion of some returning players and a valuable import would hold it in good stead but he felt the Lions had plenty more to be excited about than just its recruits.
“Jake Wilkie’s had a really good preseason and he’ll be one we look towards. Brad Barnes is an untapped talent with the bat – he’ll bat higher for us this year,” Pritchard said.
“And contributions across the board, no doubt we’re looking towards everyone contributing to make sure we’ve got a good side.”
Coach: Bruno Davi
Arrivals: David Merryweather (England)
Last year: Eighth
East Ballarat Cricket Club has welcomed a handful of promising players through its doors over the off-season in a move that it hopes will add to its depth.
Coach Bruno Davi said the club’s goal was simply to become a competitive side in the Ballarat Cricket Association first grade and he felt the recruits – headlined by English-import David Merryweather – was the first step towards that goal.
“Hopefully with the bolstering of our list we’ve created a bit of depth,” Davi said.
“At this stage all we’re hoping for is to be a little more competitive than we have been.
“What happens from there happens, no one’s got a crystal ball.”
Coach: Adrian Harris
Arrivals: Xenon Ellis (Melbourne), Brad Lockyer (Returning)
Departures: Saman Jayantha, Peter Appleton
Last year: Premiers
Reigning Ballarat Cricket Association first grade premier Golden Point won’t be reinventing the wheel when it comes to its premiership defence.
Coach Adrian Harris said the club was well prepared for the 2016-17 season and while he felt you could never be too confident going into a season, the lead-up to this year had met his requirements.
“You can never go in confident every year but we’re certainly going about our business as usual. Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” Harris said.
“We’ll prepare thoroughly across all facets of our game. We don’t tend to focus on one area, we take a holistic approach.”
Golden Point has had minimal changes to its list with the club welcoming left-arm quick bowler Xenon Ellis and all-rounder Brad Lockyer on board for 2016-17. But it will be left with a sizeable hole to fill in its batting line-up following the departure of Saman Jayantha – who averaged 66 runs last season.
Coach: Matt Ward
Arrivals: Darren Fletcher (Returning), Darcy Thomson (Melbourne), Patrick Graham (Carranballac), Curtis Townrow (Echuca), Jeremy Cross (Castlemaine United)
Departures: Daniel Hopkinson (Retired), Jarrod Burns (VRI Delacombe)
Last year: Third
An influx of talented youngsters has Mt Clear Cricket Club poised for another tilt at the BCA top four with a clear intention of finishing up the top once again.
2015-16 saw it knocked out by Brown Hill in the semi-final and coach Matt Ward said the side would again be aiming to place among the best and this time advance one better.
Adding to the excitement has been the return of premiership captain Darren Fletcher along with a handful of promising young players.
“Of course last year finishing off in the semi-final was disappointing. This year I think where we are now, we’re a bit better off with our squad,” Ward said.
“(We’ll) aim for top four and look to play finals and see how we go.
“We’ve got a good balance … it’s a pretty good feeling around the place.”
Coach: Darren Leech
Arrivals: Daniel Scott (Returning), Liam Rigby (Returning), Callum Honeyman (England), Jonah Healey (Maryborough)
Departures: Carman Mapatuna (Returns to Sri Lanka)
Last year: Seventh
Napoleons-Sebastopol Cricket Club has enjoyed a strong off-season and attended to its need to strengthen its batting line-up.
Coach Darren Leech said the club’s recruiting had targeted that deficiency and it felt it had successfully bolstered its firepower with the bat.
Former captain Daniel Scott returns as does 2014-15 Cleary medalist Liam Rigby.
English-import Callum Honeyman and Jonah Healey will also add to the depth of the middle-order.
“The batting was the area we identified last year that let us down. Our recruiting has been based around that and our work has been around improving that,” Leech said.
“We’ve always had a strong attack but our batting wasn’t up to it so that’s one area we’ve certainly looked to improve.”
Coach: Adam Eddy
Arrivals: Tom Phillippe (England), Matt Skeemer (England), Joe O’Loughlin (Melbourne)
Departures: None supplied
Last year: Ninth
North Ballarat Cricket Club will be bolstered by the inclusion of English pair Tom Phillippe and Matt Skeemer.
It was originally planned that Phillippe would be joined by Tom Piddington but Skeemer will take his place.
Phillippe is a wicket-keeper batsmen and coach Adam Eddy expected he and Skeemer, who will bat in the top-order and is also very handy with the ball, to significantly add to the Roosters’ first XI.
Phillippe comes across from Southend-on-Sea in Essex while Skeemer hails from Devon.
Eddy felt the exciting duo would be a great fit for the club and accompany the side’s core group of talented youth.
“We needed to fill a couple of spots there. We’ve also got a lot of good, young kids – 16-20 – that are up and coming and they’ll get a good chance this year.”
Coach: Peter Le Lievre
Arrivals: Cameron Sudholz (Jung Tigers), Koshita Wimalaratna (South Mackay), Alex Radford (Wy Yung)
Last year: Fourth
Wendouree coach Peter Le Lievre admits it hasn’t been an ideal preseason given the weather but he has been pleased with how his group has responded and feels it is well prepared for the 2016-17 season.
The club continues to nurture its strong junior program and has recruited a few players from outside the region while keeping its first grade squad together.
“We’ve had a good preseason. Like a lot of clubs we’ve had some difficulties with our practice facilities,” Le Lievre said.
“I’m really pleased with how the group is coming together.
“We’ve been doing varied programs indoors which covers all aspects of the game.”
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