Grand United has welcomed back a favourite son to coach the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 3 side for the next two seasons.
The Gorillas announced last week that Sam Crea had signed on as senior playing coach.
Crea is no stranger to Gorillas. He is a former junior premiership player, senior captain and assistant coach.
He spent last season at St Kilda, playing in a Victorian Premier Cricket second XI premiership.
Gorillas president Alan Hale said getting Crea back to the club was a big coup for them.
“A player of his calibre and experience doesn’t grow on trees,” Hale said.
“He has always been a Grand United person and has always been associated with us. I think he feels this is the right time to come back again and focus on the coaching side of things.”
Hale said Crea’s previous coaching experience would hold them in good stead.
Among his experience is coaching the Central Highlands under-16 team in the Youth Premier League last season.
“I think anybody that has Sam’s resume is an attractive option to come and play under,” he said.
“He had worked with young people to help them advance their careers. It’s a big shot in the arm for the whole club, not just the seniors.”
Crea will play a vital role on the field as well. Hale said Crea would fill an opening bowler role, something they were missing last season.
Hale said the majority of this season’s team, which last the grand final series 2-1 to Footscray United, had also re-signed.
“Hopefully we’ll have a couple of other players come on board in the next few weeks,” he said.
After making the grand final series, Hale said they wanted to use it as a platform for next year.
“The goal is to play at the highest level possible,” he said.
“We’ve got the structure and ability in place to go up. But you have to win to go up and there’s always a bottleneck.”