Bulls ready for big league

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Key Mt Barker recruit Jeremy Wood has predicted the newly promoted Bulls will have an immediate impact in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition, with a host of new faces set to bolster their line-up ahead of their historic debut next Saturday.

Wood, who hails from Kendenup, will return to his home region to lead Mt Barker into the expanding competition after returning to Railways last season.

The WA Country XI all-rounder heads a list of four key inclusions, including close mate and Woodanilling batsman Nathan Crosby from the Great Southern Cricket Association and seamer Jacob Wintle from Wanderers in the same competition.

In another significant boost for experience, batsman Alex Fergie will return to top-grade cricket in the region, having last season played for Grammar Griffins.

Fergie has first-grade experience with Fremantle in the WACA Premier Cricket competition and will be an important addition, as will last season’s B-grade leading run scorer Jason Jones, who averaged 89 with three centuries.

Wood, who is expected to captain the Bulls, believed his new side were ready to take the next step after winning two of the past three B-grade premierships.

”I think the blokes we have got who have been playing B-grade are certainly good enough (to play A-grade) and it’s going to be a good challenge,” he said.

“I think we will be mid-table. I think we will be a bit inconsistent to start and the competition will be pretty even, by the looks of it.”

Wood said he was particularly keen to see Wintle in action in the ACA after playing one game for Denmark last season, while he believed the performances of regulars Steven Scott, Luke Hammond, Dean Couper and Jones would be crucial to their success.

Wintle — with left arm seamer Scott, who claimed 40 wickets last season in the B-grade competition — and Wood will shoulder the bowling workload.

“Jacob is a big in for us because we looked a bit short on the bowling front,” Wood said. “I’m looking to really develop the youngsters.

“We’re trying to build because I want to see the ACA have a good competition for a long time.

“I see myself pushing the juniors through in Barker. We have a good crop of them and they need the opportunity. “A lot of the credit for where the club is now has to go to Graeme Wright and Stuart Duggin for dragging the club off the canvas and the way it has gone in the last few seasons.”

The Bulls start against preliminary finalists Manypeaks.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails