Sunbury still seeking heading coach

Sunbury's Jason McGann. (Shawn Smits) 200647_01

By Oliver Lees

Sunbury is still on the hunt for a coach to lead its top side in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association.

Sunbury president Brendan Doyle said the club had found a suitor through its application process, but the individual ultimately couldn’t commit due to external work arrangements.

“If we do get a non-playing coach, that’s great, if we don’t, we have enough leaders in the team to get by,” Doyle said.

This season Sunbury’s best senior men’s team will compete in division 3 of the VTCA.

The Roar earned promotion for the second straight year after taking out the division 4 premiership in 2020/21.

In the best of three grand final series, Sunbury defeated Footscray in the first two matches to be named premiers.

Back-to-back best and fairest winner Jason McGann top scored for the Roar with 63 runs in the second match.

The win was vindication for Sunbury after the 2019-20 season, when the Roar’s chances of premiership glory were cut short as COVID-19 restrictions made playing the second innings of the match impossible.

Doyle said they had retained their experienced players from last year’s success, including Stephen Treweek, who will again captain the side this year.

“We made the decision to focus on our youth about five years ago,” he said.

“We knew it was going to be a battle, but now we believe we have a great core of under-18s and under-17s, all who have been integrated into the first or second eleven.

“I’m confident along with the older guys a few more of those boys will really cement their spot.”

Elsewhere at the club, Doyle said registration numbers had been promising.

“Particularly good numbers at the junior level, I think that’s to do with footy being influenced, kids just want to get out and participate,” he said.

“We had a bit of an interrupted year last year and were eventually able to get a full season in.

“We’ll still believe we’ll have five senior men’s teams, a women’s team, and maybe the club’s first under-17 or under-15s girl’s side.”

Doyle said the club had also confirmed the signing of Ben Finlay from the Yarraville Cricket Club, who has experience playing with Sunbury in the past.

“Ben returning to the club is very exciting for us, we’ve had some talks with him and we think he can have a big impact in our first team,” he said.

According to a VTCA statement from Wednesday, September 29, the league has identified November 13 as the official commencement date for the season.

This date is subject to lockdown restrictions, with the VTCA committed to allowing clubs three weeks of preseason training before fixtures matches begin.

The VTCA has also advised that whether or not two-day matches are fixtures this season will be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’d love to get back to some traditional two-day cricket, I actually think it suits us better,” Doyle said.

“It allows our kids who have some talent to really settle in. But at the end of the day, we adapted well last year, and if we need to we’ll do so again this year.”