Month: September 2019


Q1. Tell us about your early days growing up and playing cricket.

A2. I grew up in Colac playing cricket from as early as I can remember. As I got older I played for Colac Cricket Club and then was lucky enough to move to Geelong Grammar at the age of 14 where I would have a number of battles with Hosko, Wink Simpson, Barry and Silky Bingham (Geelong Grammar 3 wins – Geelong College 0 wins).

Q2. How did you find Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?

A2. Damian Shanahan was at the club in a playing/coaching role with Marc Carson in the 2014/15 season, so I played the back half of that season before moving to Melbourne following that summer.

Q3. You’ve been playing Premier cricket with Camberwell, what brings you back to the GCA?

A3. I loved my time at Newtown in 2014/15 and always thought that when the time was right, I would find myself back at the club. With family moving to Ocean Grove I wanted to be back in Geelong more often and when I looked closely at the list, I could see that it was full of great blokes and a squad capable of winning premierships in the near future. I loved my time at Camberwell Cricket Club and learnt a lot which I will hopefully bring to the Two-Blues this year.

Q4. You’ve obviously played against some pretty good cricketers in recent years, who are the best you’ve come up against.

A4. Will Pucovski comes straight to mind from Melbourne CC, his discipline and timing are a class above. Trent Lawford from Fitzroy and Evan Gulbis from Carlton hit the ball as hard as I’ve seen … unfortunately I’ve been on the wrong end of a few of their big scores.

Q5. Who has had the most influence on you in your cricket so far?

A5. Damian Shanahan has been huge for me both on and off the cricket field. I was lucky enough to play under him at Geelong Grammar and with him at Newtown. His ability to analyse a situation in a game or at training and communicate it so clearly makes him a great coach and mentor.

Q6. What makes a good leader in sport, and particularly in cricket?

A6. What I said about Shannas being able to analyse a situation and then know how to communicate to each individual is huge. Not everyone responds to the same type of communication, so it is figuring out what makes each individual tick. In saying that, successful teams require multiple leaders, not just one.

Q7. What are your ambitions and goals in your time as captain of the NCCC First XI?

A7. Create a culture and brand of cricket that will win Premierships. That requires the first picked player in the First XI and the last picked player in the juniors to be working together. No one individual is bigger than another.

Q8. Is there a brand of cricket we can expect the First XI to be playing this summer?

A8. A brand that is disciplined and adaptable. It sounds boring but not every game is going to be about blasting teams out and scoring 300 with the bat. Sometimes the best wins can be the ugly ones where you defend 150.

Q9. How do the facilities at Queens Park and KFC Oval compare with those in Premier cricket?

A9. The outfield and social rooms are just as good if not better than Premier cricket facilities. The new change rooms with ice-baths are something that we are extremely lucky to have. I haven’t been able to see the turf wicket yet. Obviously, some Premier Grounds like the Junction and Albert hold state matches so they are in elite condition. As I said in the last questions though: If the conditions don’t suit you need to be able to adapt and find a way.

Q10. You’ve already played a season with the club, so we’d expect you’d already have at least one Russell Mitchell story already.

A10. Seeing his car get hit at deep square leg in a 20/20 and him somehow blame his son Sam for it still makes me laugh now. Surely, he still doesn’t sit up on the balcony and tell the square leg when his decisions are wrong or not?


By Tom Levick, NCCC President.

It is my pleasure to announce that at our meeting on September 16th, the NCCC Committee voted unanimously to appoint Dylan Hodge as our First XI captain for season 2019/2020.

Dylan returns to us this summer bringing with him Premier cricket experience, plus his all-round skills and will build on the work of last summer’s captain, George Chisholm, who in turn inherited a solid foundation from Shane Franklin.

As we welcome Dylan in this vital role, it is fantastic that both George and Shane remain a serious part of our club, Chissa a key member of the First XI, and Shane as club coach.

We can also confirm the captains for the other teams this summer.

Second XI: Sandy Waters
Third XI: Jarad Battenally
Fourth XI: Frank Tuskes
Fifth XI: Anthony Devlin
Sixth XI: Mark Sanders

With the opening rounds of the Senior Competitions rapidly approaching, there are also exciting developments at the junior level, where we will have Friday Night Under 15 teams and two girls’ teams, a first for our club.

While we welcome players to our club from wherever they might come, it is a key policy to develop the main core of our future talent through the junior programs – once a Two Blue, always a Two Blue.

As well as captaining the Sixth XI, Mark Sanders has been doing a terrific job with the sponsorship role he has taken on this year.

Mark’s work, and that of others who have fulfilled this role, must never be over-looked because sponsorship allows us to keep down the costs of your playing cricket.

We have increased membership fees by a small amount this year, but with increased benefits, including those attached to a new membership card. Make sure you get your membership paid early to take full advantage of that.

For the sixth year in a row, bar prices will not rise. While we are a cricket club first and foremost, we are also aware of the important role our social activities play in the life of our members and making meals and drinks as inexpensive as possible is also a high priority.

Much other good work is being done in preparation for the summer. The new electronic scoreboard is set to roar into action in round one, offering all sorts of new opportunities for the club, including in the sponsorship area, and the chance to have movie nights on the grass of KFC Oval when the weather is warmer.

I want to place on record our gratitude for the hard work that curator Tim Stacey has been doing on the KFC Oval, particularly the centre pitch, and the practice pitches.

This year, we will again have an overseas player: Tom Nicholas from the Eversley club at which Nick McGuane played – and with great success – during the English summer.
As with our overseas players in the past, get around Tom.

From here on, the committee will be working furiously to make sure everything is ready to go when the first ball of the season is bowled.

We expect our players to be working just as hard to be ready to go, too.

That means training hard and honouring our club’s motto in everything you do: Two Blues, One Club – Respect It.