Collingwood Park focus on fast start

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Collingwood Park's Nathan Dovey.
Camera IconCollingwood Park's Nathan Dovey. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Finding form at the start of the season will be the focus for Collingwood Park, looking to avoid a repeat of their slow start to last season.

While Park played finals after storming home to win six of the final eight games, their winless start in the first five rounds proved costly.

As they approach the new Albany Cricket Association season, club coach Matt Heberle said his side would take plenty out of how they finished 2017-18, with the aim of making another finals appearance.

“As a club we will be looking to build on the second half of last season,” he said.

“We were last at the Christmas break and came back really well.

“We will be aiming to play finals and, more importantly, win a final.

A settled A-grade squad with minimal changes will help their cause, with three inclusions and only one player loss to contend with. Former North County left-arm seamer Kohen Lemin joins Park and all-rounder Steve Van Nierop joins from Carlisle Cricket Club in the Perth Cricket Association along with Andre Gabriel. Seamer Andrew Brosnan is Park’s only loss.

Heberle said the club’s batsmen would need to step up to assist veteran Nathan Dovey, who last season scored almost as twice as many runs as any player in the competition.

Dovey’s stand-out season led to him winning almost every major A-grade award after piling on 882 runs from 14 games, but the next best Park batsman was speedster Ben Grey with 187.

Heberle placed plenty of onus on batsmen Tim Pyle, Jesse Spaanderman, Leroy van den Dool and himself to get among the runs more regularly and believed nagging seamer Ben Carter and spinner Ricky Weight would be important with the ball.

“We will be looking to just continue to develop our club which creates that competition for spots in the A-grade — we haven’t had that for a couple of seasons,” Heberle said.

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