St Albans heading in the right direction

St Albans is gearing up for the new season. (Damjan Janevski). 203635_05

Tara Murray

New St Albans coach Brenton Cook is intent on maintaining their standing as a premiership contender.

Cook, who is in his third full season for the Saints, takes over the coaching role from Robert Nikolic, who stood down after two seasons as captain-coach.

Cook has previously played and coached in Western Australia and New South Wales.

“Rob stepped down at the end of last year,” he said. “He’s done some really good work at the club the last two years.

“I want to continue the club in the right direction, the direction Rob wanted to take it.”

The Saints have climbed up the ladder in recent seasons and were awarded the senior premiership last season.

The grand final between the Saints and Yarraville Club was in the balance after the first weekend of play, before the second weekend was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The Clubbers were the highest-ranked side in the grand final and were named premiers.

The Saints successfully appealed the decision, after illegal work was done by the Clubbers on the wicket between day one and two and were awarded the premiership.

Cook said they were yet to celebrate the premiership.

“The decision was made and the rules are rules,” he said.

“We thought we were in a good spot regardless of what happened at the end of the day.

“We were going into the final in pretty good form having knocked off the Doutta Stars the week before.

“It’s not the way to end a final, not getting to finish it off.”

Cook said they were keen to take that strong form into this season.

Trevor Bauer, who batted at three for the Saints, is the only out at this stage. Cook said he might return to the field later in the season.

“He’s having a break,” Cook said.

“He has other commitments and travels from Mordialloc, so he’ll see how it goes.”

A few former players have returned and will add depth across the club as they look to field three strong sides.

Cook said they were hoping some of the younger players kept progressing through into the senior side.

“We’ve got some younger guys who are coming through. There’s about three under-18s that we would like to keep bringing through.

“Yuvraj Singh is starting to come of age and Kyle Chamberlain played most of last season in the seconds.

“Shaun McAndrew is a keeper and batsman. We’re really keen to develop them and bring them along when the opportunities arise.

The Saints kick off their season on Saturday against the Doutta Stars. All matches this season will be one-dayers.