Blues hoping to build

Daniel Stavris will be a key for Keilor this season. (Damjan Janevski) 203635_08

Tara Murray

Keilor is hoping to show improvement on last season in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division.

The Blues finished last season in eighth with three wins, but were in the mix to claim a few more scalps.

Blues cricket operations manager Guy Barbuto said the club was in a better position than it was 12 months ago.

“We’ve been focusing on home grown talent,” he said.

“We haven’t gone on a massive recruiting spree and believe in what our home grown talent can do.

“We’re looking to see players improve individually and get better and with that the team gets better.”

The club has so far announced two new recruits, Kristian Dixon and Lucas Elliott.

Both are former players of the club and return having played with PEGS most recently.

“They will compliment the top and middle order and are both handy spinners,” Barbuto said.

“At 32 and 34, they are in that age demographic to help us move forward.”

Barbuto said they were still looking at potentially signing a couple more players, but were looking forward to the development of the existing playing group.

He said Luke McManus and Ryan Metz were building a nice front line bowling attack that will be better than last year.

Luke Delbridge is expected to have a good season with the bat, while youngsters Alfie Miles and Josh Pace are also expected to take the next step.

On the other side they’ve lost Mitchell Jamieson to premier cricket, while Dinuska Malan hasn’t been able to return due to border restrictions.

Barbuto said with the group they had put together they were confident they could put together a good season.

“We want to win the games we were in last season until the last ball, but were unable to get the win.

“We’re pushing to finish higher and possibly sneak into finals.”

Duncan Harrison will coach the men’s side again, while Delbridge will coach the women’s side. Barbuto said they had no expectations on that side this season.

“We want to keep developing them as cricketers and since we’ve started we’ve had a younger side each week.

“As they develop their games and craft, what better way than under Duncan and Luke.”

Barbuto said the whole playing group was excited to get back out on the field. The season is currently projected to start on November 13.

“It’s an exciting time and we’ll be glad to get back and hopefully have some sort of normality,” he said.

“The guys are really excited and have had individual programs over winter and have been in nets in small groups.

“The club and Duncan are ready to have the boys back and the female sides as well and get started on the season.”