Lions add more stars

Tara Murray

Reigning Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division premiers Deer Park haven’t wasted time bringing in reinforcements.

Fresh off their first senior division premiership, the Lions have added Coburg pair Aaron Ayre and Aaron Shellie.

Both played plenty of Victorian Premier Cricket for Essendon before joining Coburg, while Ayre also played three games for Victoria.

Lions coach Mick Andriadis is a rapt man to bring the pair across. They’ve signed for the next three seasons.

“I’ve been working on it for a while,” he said. “I’m glad to finally get it over the line.

“I think they just wanted to play in the VTCA. It’s looking stronger with all these players coming over like [Dean] Russ, [Dan] Sartori and now Matt Doric joining Yarraville Club.

“The better players want to come play with it being better cricket.”

Andriadis said he’s known Ayre since he was coach at Keilor when Ayre was a guest player for the T20 competition.

With Shellie his brother in law, he was able to get them to come across together.

“They’re not only good cricketers, but good people and good family guys.”

Andriadis said they were hoping to keep their premiership side together, but it’s still early in the piece.

He said a Deer Park junior in Lachlan Fitzgerald was returning to the club, while he hoped their was a spot for Nick Xavier, another young kid, in the top side.

“We’ll wait and see what it looks like,” he said. “There will be more depth which will be big.

“Things are looking good and hopefully we can defend our title.”

In scary news for opposition sides, Andriadis said they still have another one or two players on the radar.

“It’ll depend on points and budget,” he said. “A few more people might want to come to the club.

“Russ, Sartori and [Allan] Wise have a lot of contacts.”