WHILE all other seven first grade Shoalhaven District Cricket Association sides have undergone significant player turnover, North Nowra-Cambewarra kept their core together.
In their second year back in the top grade, after a years hiatus, Norths will be looking to build on their strong 2016/17 campaign, in which they were grand finalists in the one-day competition.
“The only addition we have to last year’s squad is Hayden Strand, who will move up to first grade after scoring close to 400 runs in second grade and taking a number of wickets,” North Nowra-Cambewarra president Dean Tyson said.
“We have lost both Harrison Temple and Dan May though.
“Both only played a limited number of games last year due to injury and work commitments, so it’s not going to concern us too much.”
For the team to be successful and take that next step forward, Tyson believes the team will be led by the strong play of both captain Justin Weller and prodigy Kaleb Phillips.
“Kaleb is our key batsmen, scoring more than 400 runs last season and he is still only 16,” Tyson said.
“He gained plenty of experience and is only getting better.
“With the ball, Justin Weller was the leading wicket taker for the district last year and has had a big off season – so he will again be key for us.
“I also expect Hugh Gillan to have another big year – he returned last season after a badly broken arm and bowled as well as I have seen him bowl.
“He finished fourth overall with 25 wickets and caused a lot of batsmen problems.”
On the back of these athletes, Tyson knows his team can take another step for ward this season and claim some silver.
“Of all three of the formats, I think the one day competition is best suited to our squad,” he said.
“Our bowling attack is reasonable and last season we were able to keep teams to reasonable totals and eventually went on to lose to Berry-Shoalhaven Heads in the final by two runs.
“If we bowl well and field well, I think our batting will improve and we can look to go one better this season.
“Last season was our first season back in first grade with new and inexperienced players.
“We made the one day final, semi-finals of the T20 and beat eventual two- day premiers Berry three of the four games.
“We believe we can beat every team.”
Squad: Justin Weller (c), Shane Bell, Kaleb Phillips, Luke Huard, Cameron Fernie, Hugh Gillan, Ben Beck, Dean Tyson, Sam Lowcock, Damien Spelta and Hayden Strand.