Brown steps up at Riddell

Heath Brown. Picture Shawn Smits

Tara Murray

New Riddell coach Heath Brown wants to bring some more stability to the Gisborne and District Cricket Association club.

Having been at the club for 10 years, he’s seen the highs and the lows over the last fews years, which has seen the club go through a rebuild.

Brown, who has signed on as coach for two years, said the focus of the club remained on bringing through the youth.

“We’re trying to rebuild the club and there’s a good group of youth coming through,” he said.

“We’re trying to get an extra side up and looking at having more junior sides than ever. It’s important especially after COVID-19, we need to get them back out there.”

Brown replaces Heath Wadden as coach, after Wadden couldn’t commit due to work commitments.

Brown said Wadden would still be around and provide him with plenty of support.

The Bombers will this season play in the Johnstone Shield, after being relegated from the McIntyre Cup.

The Bombers, who stepped up to the top grade late in the piece, won one game.

Brown said the focus remains on bringing through the younger players at the club.

“It’s not about winning games,” he said.

“It’s the same of last year when we stepped up and helped the league out. We didn’t have the depth.

“We’ve got some good rep cricketers coming through.”

He highlighted Jackson Wadden and Sam Dempsey as two players to watch, if they don’t look at taking their cricket to a higher level.

The Bombers are hopeful a couple of former players might return, while they’re talking to a couple of imports.

“They’ve moved locally and want to play cricket,” he said of the imports.

“We want to grow our network. They’ve been traveling to play cricket and we’re trying to get them involved locally.”

Meanwhile, the GDCA board is hopeful of the season getting underway in late October-early November.

The latest the season can start is January 30.

All matches this season will be played as one-dayers.