Freshened Park get their house in order

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Get the off-field right and the on-field will follow — this has been Collingwood Park’s mantra in the off-season when conducting a comprehensive club review ahead of the new Albany Cricket Association season.

The club celebrated their 30th year last season, but in a rare occurrence in the past two decades, failed to reach the finals, finishing fourth in the five-team competition.

Park have since engaged renowned local sporting administrator Basil Worner, giving the club a long-term plan for success, according to president Nathan Dovey.

Dovey, who will once again play a key role with the bat after smashing 490 runs last season including 225 not out, said the club was looking forward to improved performances across the board.

“Strong clubs have strong A and B-grade teams,” he said. “We have focused a lot on improving player numbers in the off-season.

“A lack of numbers for both grades was identified as a critical issue in the review.

“We are in much better shape numbers-wise this year.” On-field, all-rounder Tim Pyle enters his second season in charge, but Park will be without last season’s player-coach Josh Duane, who has returned to Perth.

The return of experienced seamer Ian Waugh from a knee injury boosts Park’ bowling stocks. However, Park is unlikely to see much of emerging quick Bryce Jackson, who is now part of the WACA Academy and made his first-grade debut for Melville last Saturday.

Dovey predicts youngsters Jesse Spaanderman and Leroy van den Dool to play greater roles and believes speedster Ben Grey will relish the return to turf cricket.

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