Rupertswood Cricket Club is taking the positives out of a tough year which has put sport on the backburner.
With COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns a big part of the year, Rupo has kept things ticking over behind the scenes.
Rupo captain-coach Andrew Pizaro said it was about looking at the opportunities that come from these times.
He said it was about getting the club in the right place so it could go from strength to strength.
“Not just in sport, as you look a lot of places are doing things differently and they have flourished through COVID,” he said.
“A sports club can do something differently as well and it makes us reflect and see the things we can do better.
“As soon as COVID hit we started having a group meeting nearly every week. We did quizzes online and started some investigation into what we could do to promote the club and started using Slack.
“It opened the door for me to do a podcast about the club. Interviewing players, former players and juniors. I didn’t think it would be as big as it would be.”
After a delayed start to training, due to being based at Salesian College, Rupo has had some good numbers.
They’ve gone from four to five senior teams with agood junior program still in place.
Pizaro has also taken the opportunity to change training up, with afocus on centre wicket practice.
Several players have come into the Johnstone Shield side that just missed out on finals last season.
Tristen Taylor-White steps up after playing in the lower grades as he had a gap year from serious cricket.
Keegan Guy, who plays football at Rupertswood, has slotted straight in, while Shane Abdilla, who has done plenty of work with the junior side of the club, has decided to take his cricket more seriously.
Matthew Castle, who had the past season off, also returns. The club had recruited Corey Woolley, but he returned to the Sunbury Kangaroos after they lost a large number of players.
Pizaro said he was happy with where things were sitting.
“We’ve got all the pieces in the right place,” he said.
“Bert Van Den Heuvel is back as my assistant coach and that role is crucial. He’s up there with my best assistant coaches.
“I couldn’t be happier with where things are at.”
Having put some plans into place the past couple of years, Pizaro said he was still aiming high to try and win a premiership.
“It never goes out of my mind,” he said.
“I set the bar high… it’s very hard to get.”
Rupertswood started its season with a win against Wallan.
On Saturday, it took on Riddell and came away with another win.
Rupertswood made 8-182 with Jayden Swallow top scoring with 77.
Jackson Wadden and Heath Brown took three wickets each.
The Bombers fell short, making 6-156.
Guy took three wickets, with the other three run outs.
Bacchus Marsh, Wallan and Sunbury United were the other winners.
In the McIntyre Cup, Gisborne opened is account, Sunbury United consigned Diggers Rest Bulla to another big loss ane Romsey beat East Sunbury.