Parkers nab big names

Aron Sherriff in action earlier this year at the BPL. (Bowls Australia)

Tara Murray

Deer Park has wasted no time in bringing in the reinforcements for the next Bowls Victorian Premier division weekend pennant season.

After losing last season’s grand final by a heart breaking two shots, the Parkers have already locked in two key signings.

Aron Sherriff, who has been one of the premier bowlers world wide the last 10 years and Canadian Ryan Bester, who is based on the Gold Coast, have both signed with the club.

Parkers’ head of bowls operations Mark Casey said they were thrilled to bring both guys in.

“I’ve known them both for a long time,” he said. “They are two of the best players in the world.

“Both live on the Gold Coast and will travel down together.

“I played with Aron for Australia. To be able to add someone of the quality of Aron Sheriff is a huge coup for our club and for the metro-premier competition.

“Ryan fits our profile for a marquee player he will add to our culture both on and off the green and will be available for the finals series.

“We are genuinely excited by the list we have for the season.”

Casey said both were looking forward to the challenge of competing in the top division in Victoria.

Bester has previously played in the competition, while Sherriff will play in the competition for the first time.

Casey said both were keen to taste success.

On the other side, the Parkers have lost David Holt who has signed with Richmond Union and Rhys Jeffs, who lives in Colac.

Casey said Australian star Aaron Teys, who played for the side before Christmas, had signed with Bundoora RSL.

Casey said they were in discussions with Scottish star Alex Marshall about his availability and were hoping he would return and be available for most of the season.

“We’ve picked up a few and we’ve lost a few,” Casey said.

“We want to get the division 2 side into division 1 and picking up players helps with that.

“If we can strengthen the premier team it goes through to the other divisions.”

Casey said the side was keen to get back out there after the disappointing end to the 2021-22 season.

The Parkers finished on top of the ladder and were the top side all season before losing in the grand final.

“It was better than expected,” Casey said. “But we dominated for most of the home and away season and then not to get the result at the end of the day was disappointing.

“The guys are hungry to get again and try to get to the grand final and go one better.”

Plenty of work is also happening off the green, with the club working through plans to renovate the club.

Repair works are already needed on the dome that collapsed late last year due to a storm.

Casey and other representatives have recently been in Queensland touring other facilities.

“We’re looking at all the options,” he said.

“At the moment we’re looking at a complete indoor centre. Once done it will be amazing, but it’s a long process.”