Sitting only weeks out from the start of the Ballarat Bolts second season, coach Jeremey Byrne is continuing to look towards growth within the game.
Establishing itself in 2018, the Bolts turned heads in the Victorian Women's Community Cricket Competition, winning the North West A T20 competition and finishing as runners up in the one-day competition.
Following seasons end, Byrne told The Courier the club's focus has been bringing more women, including those with no prior experience, into the game.
"Probably the biggest thing that we've identified is trying to find the girls that aren't playing that potentially would," he said.
"We've got some women in their 40s and some who are 14, so the range of age groups show there are plenty of girls in Ballarat loving cricket but having never played it."
We're just trying to create those opportunities for those women to come into the game.Jeremey Byrne
Byrne says he believes the biggest thing stopping women from getting involved in cricket in the initial anxiety of joining a new team or taking on a sport people are unfamiliar with.
The coach believes all that disappears once women actually come down and meet the group.
"Obviously with cricket there is a lot going on with both batting and bowling so it's quite a hard thing to pick up straight away.
"We've generally found once the girls get down and meet the rest of the party they get fairly comfortable... once they actually come down the transition is pretty smooth."
Looking beyond 2019-20, Byrne is excited to see the sport continue to grow and is confident it is only a matter of time until Ballarat has its own women's cricket competition.
"It sounds pretty ambitious when you say it out loud but I do anticipate it happening... I think it's more when than will it happen.
"With the junior Bolts, while we're probably going to only have one under-15 team, we've had around 30 girls express interest.
"I anticipate it's just going to go 'bang' one year and there's just going to be massive growth. We're just trying to prepare ourselves for when that happens so we can facilitate as many teams as we need."
Going into the Bolts' second campaign, Byrne says he has been very pleased with what he has seen from his group in its limited pre-season training sessions as the side looks to transition new players in to the team.
"It's still very early days in year two but when you create the right culture the people you bring through the door all transition pretty smoothly."
"We've had three training sessions already and the standard has just gotten better and better."
The Bolts will again compete in the Victorian Women's Community Cricket Competition, but will also aim to present a team for a nine-a-side Geelong based competition. Byrne says the numbers is fantastic compared to 2018.
"Numbers are fantastic, this time last year we weren't even sure we'd get one team together, now we're potentially looking at sending a second team to Barwon"
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