Q1: You are part of a highly respected Father-son team at Newtown and Chilwell, tell us about your early memories of the club.
A1: I have quite a few memories of NCCC, funny enough one of the first was as an opposition player when I played at BPH. The game at the desert is where the infamous “Specs four pull shot” off my attempted bouncer story came from. Everyone knows the story and has heard it a 100 or so times. My first NCCC true memory was turning up to the club after getting cleared by BPH and
how welcoming everyone was. NCCC is a special place and it pretty much got a hold of me and hasn’t let go. Sporting clubs have an amazing power to bring people together and no club does it better than ours.
Q2: You had a bit of a break from the club to concentrate on baseball. What brought you back?
A2: I got a bit frustrated with cricket at one stage. The Seconds were incredibly strong, and I was a fringe player who had stiff competition to get through. I was a fair bit younger then and probably didn’t really read the situation well enough and got frustrated so I gave cricket away for a few years plus I was pretty heavily involved in baseball in quite a successful period of Saints Baseball
Club, so cricket took back seat while I focused on baseball. What bought me back was a mix of a few things. My Dad was making one of his numerous comebacks to NCCC and had committed to playing with Morgo in the Fifths, so I decided to join and play socially with my dad. Plus, I felt like I had unfinished business not having a photo on the wall.
Q3: You’ve become a powerhouse on the committee, completely revamping the merchandise, what was your motivation there?
A3: Joining the committee is something that I have really enjoyed. The committee is full of a lot of people I consider good friends and I see it as a good combination of catching up with my good mates while also looking out for the club and its best interests which is something I am passionate about. The merchandise was and still is a big job but for me was a no-brainer. I never was a big
fan of the old merchandise, so I felt passionate about making a change that would change the identity of our club and bring some pride to wearing our colours. It’s something I am proud of, we should all be proud of wearing the Two Blues colours and hopefully this merchandise has achieved that.
Q4: You have played 125 games for the club across five grades, including two in the First XI, tell us about those.
A4: It’s funny how many games I can remember over the years mostly for good reasons. It’s a touch frustrating I didn’t get to play more games in the First XI or T20 games, but I wouldn’t change too much of what I have done. I have so many good memories from opening the bowling with Jacko Davis when he first started playing 2nds. The season I played under Russell Mitchell in that
stacked Second and we needed results to go our way to make finals and batting with Ian Hastie in a last wicket partnership that kept that dream alive. To the year in the Fifths with my dad and Morgo where we nearly stole a flag in a heavily stacked division. It was amazing playing the year with my Dad. It was always something I have wanted to do. The amazing thing about playing
at Newtown is the people for me. I have been a part of this amazing club for what feels so long now that I have played with Ian Hastie, Russell Mitchell, Graeme Chisholm and Devon Royce and the amazing thing for me is now I have played with their sons in the same club. Newtown has amazing facilities, but the club is so special because of the people in it.
Q5. You have just accepted the nomination as the GCA Division One delegate, what was your motivation to take on that role?
A5: This is a hard one to answer. I have taken this position for many reasons. I think it’s important the players get a say in the direction of cricket in Geelong. I also think it’s important that we (NCCC) contribute and have representation on the GCA committee. The main reason is I have come from a sport in baseball which is pretty much on its knees and in quite a lot of trouble and if we cricket people don’t get involved in this sport it could do the same. We aren’t the number one game in town and we need to adapt, and I certainly have opinions and ideas which can
only be heard properly if I am on GCA committee. I’ll try to do the best job to represent all cricket people and hopefully the right moves will be made for the game and its future in Geelong.
Q6. What do you see as the main challenge for you in that role?
A6: I am still awaiting the GCA for the official job description but the main reason I wanted to join revolves around the structure of the game and the players involved in it. As everyone knows I am a shift worker and many people are nowadays in a similar situation and the way cricket is structured makes it hard. Cricket in Geelong is in its most vulnerable and exciting position at the same time. I think the changes that could be made could be exciting for cricket and possibly strengthen it. At the same time if we don’t adjust to this new generation coming through and their clear like of the short game we could be left in a vulnerable position. Just think the game needs a bit more common sense bought into it. Listen to the people and what they want. Majority of people get lost in
the main reason why we play cricket. We play for FUN. Let’s make cricket FUN as far as I am concerned. The draw also needs looking into and possibly a few other aspects and hopefully I will
have a chance to have a say on behalf of all cricketers in GCA1.
Q7. Will you be keeping on the merchandising role and other hefty duties at our club that you have undertaken, or stepping back a little?
A7: Merchandising is a job that requires a lot of ground work and research. After designing our current merchandising layout and range of merchandising the rest of the job is purely maintaining the current system with suppliers and stockists also with our many wonderful sponsors. I have been extremely lucky to have the help I have had from many people. It’s not a job I have done alone and a fair few people need credit also and thanks to them. I think I should be able to maintain the current role with the club but certainly won’t turn anyone away who is passionate about the
club and is willing to help. Cooper Bingham has recently jumped on board by designing a range of NCCC beanies which look fantastic and are worth checking on the website.
Q8. Dan Lawrence and Chris Pepper lived with your parents, Dominic Manthorpe lived with you, and there have been plenty of other English players through the club in recent times, do you have a favourite?
A8: You don’t realise how big of a job it is taking on an import player but for me it was a bit of a no-brainer and very rewarding. I played with Dom in the Seconds his first year out and we got along quite well. I suggested if he were to come back that we would host him, and he took up the offer and came back. Besides following Arsenal, he was quite “a good lad” as he would word it. We
also have formed a good friendship with his family and look forward to heading over there sooner rather than later. Daniel Lawrence was an amazing talent and I was very lucky to meet him. He also used to provide me a good laugh when I used to head to my parents where Daniel and my brother would fight over the Tim Tams in fridge. Chris was also a great person and hopefully he will
find the spark of cricket again, there is certainly talent there. I do have to say thanks to the guys. They treated my parents so well and respected them the whole way through and couldn’t say a bad word against either of them, they are family as far as I am concerned.
Q9. You haven’t won a premiership yet, but what is your best cricket memory with Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?
A9: I am stuck in the infamous club of no photo on the wall. I would like to say it gets easier to deal with over time, but I think having that photo on the wall is the greatest trophy or recognition we give and should be every individual’s goal. Besides life membership there isn’t a greater privilege. I have played in a few grand finals now and have missed out on a few but plenty of time yet. Probably the favourite individual memory was the year I captained the Thirds and I copped a pasting off the then coach for a performance of the team against East Belmont (which I missed due to wisdom teeth getting removed) and coming out against Lara and pretty much just hitting boundaries and scoring my only century to date. I never thought I’d make one or even get close to making one. But as an overall memory it would probably be the Fifth’s semi-final I was involved in at East Belmont against the Lewis driven BPH. We were up against some of the worst individuals you
will ever play cricket with or against. Morgo had copped a relentless barrage from the BPH players and when they hit the ball in the air to him, out in the deep with a busted hand, he caught the ball that won us the game. We effectively had to take 15 wickets to beat them from all the cheating, but we had knocked the top side out of finals in a huge upset. I’ll never forget Morgo’s face
and knowing the next week we would be in the grand final.
Q10. And here it comes, your best Russell Mitchell story.
A10: Where do I go from here? So many stories on and off field. I think my main memory of Russell was when I first cracked the turf squad and played under him. It was a daunting deal. There were some amazing players in that team who were all super competitive. I remember the support he showed and the confidence in me to be a part of his team and that I would contribute. The last wicket partnership with Ian Hastie when we needed to win, I still remember Russell backing me in with Ian he was there the whole way supporting us until the winning runs were scored. The off field is easy. The year I captained we played Highton at Highton and I was umpiring central and Russell was watching at what I would say deep mid-wicketish and Batesy came in to bat. Batesy was in pretty ordinary form and was hit on the toe and I gave the decision not out suggesting it was going down leg which was followed by loud laughing from Russell and a few other comments
over the fence at me. Always supporting that Battler.