For Josh Brown, taking on the East Ballarat captaincy once again was an easy decision.
Brown is optimistic about the Hawks’ prospects for the upcoming season, while he understands it is a tight competition he believes it has a capable first XI.
East Ballarat finished sixth last Ballarat Cricket Association first grade season, three games off top four. Nonetheless, Brown said finals were the aim, as they would be for the majority of the clubs at this time of year. In what is a fairly tight nine-team competition, Brown felt getting away to a good start before Christmas crucial.
“I think we’re in a good spot,” Brown said.
“We were a little bit disappointing last year, we lost a few close ones, but it was a pretty easy decision to go again – they’re a good bunch of blokes, that’s the main thing.
“Finals is the aim, anything less will just be disappointing. That’s everybody’s aim, realistically I think we’re good enough to do it, it’s just getting the early results.”
The major difference to East Ballarat’s pre-season this year has been the inclusion of some quality practice matches.
Over the past four or five years, the Hawks have had little to no practice games and Brown felt the ones they did were not of a high standard. But this time around the Hawks have played two matches against teams from Bendigo and Melbourne - Brown said they had both been extremely beneficial hit-outs.
“We’ve got a few more practice matches in, which is one of the bigger focuses.
“Just to get a bit more game day stuff done.”
Fielding has also been high on the priority list during the off-season’s training.
The BCA season starts this Saturday, East Ballarat to play Naps-Sebas.