Keilor Park delight in a milestone

Keilor Park coach Joe Carland and Liam Hutchison. Picture Damian Visentini

Keilor Park is embarking on its 40th anniversary season in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association.

The Devils will reflect fondly on past glories and roll out the welcome home mat for past players and supporters this summer.

Devils coach Joe Carland said it would be an exciting time for the family-based club.

“We’ve had a little bit of success in the past, so we’re going to celebrate what we have achieved,” he said.

“It will be good to try to draw some of the old players back and the people who experienced the ’80s and ’90s – and even the founding members that are still hanging around,” he said.

“We want to bring everyone back together and have a real good season on and off the field.”

Keilor Park is aiming for considerable improvement on its ninth-place finish in north-west division last season.

The Devils have pinpointed batting as the main area needing work and have bolstered the top order with new imports Hywel Jones and Andy Davis.

“Last season, we had a stronger bowling attack than batting,” Carland said.

“We put ourselves in pretty good positions with the ball – we were bowling sides out for 120 but we were falling short with the bat.

“We’ve gone out and recruited some international batsmen … and some local lads we’re trying to get on board.”

Last season’s imports, Tom Jones and George Burrows, will not return.

Bringing two new imports into the Devils lair has generated a buzz of excitement.

“Everyone is interested to see how they’re going to go,” Carland said.

The club will be looking for improvement from its home-grown youngsters.

The bulk of the Devils’ first XI will be under 25, so Carland’s main task will be to fast-track the development of these promising youngsters, including VTCA under-21 captain Dean Gila, Ethan McShanag and Liam Hutchison.

“In terms of young talent, there’s plenty of that,” Carland said.

“We’ve always had a mantra of developing the younger guys from within our club.

“The side we’re going to be putting together [in the firsts], I’d say we’ll only have two guys over the age of 25.

“It’s going to be a young list, but we got a few games and exposure into some of these younger blokes last season.

“There’s a bit of quality there and they’re all ready to go.”

Keilor Park will hold its season launch on Sunday, October 1, from noon at Keilor Park Reserve. Former Victorian and Australian paceman Damien Fleming will be special guest.