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Shane Murdoch to coach Two-Blues next summer

Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club is excited to announce that gifted all-rounder Shane Murdoch will be the coach for the 2020/2021 season.
“This is a special announcement for our club,” said President Tom Levick.
“As one of our most consistent players in recent seasons, Shane already has the respect of the playing group, the whole of the club in fact.
“He also has a great knowledge of the game, and the capacity to pass that knowledge on in a forthright but always positive way.”
The 34-year-old Shane Murdoch, who replaces respected veteran Shane Franklin, joined the Two Blues for the 2017/2018 season and had an immediate impact, joining the select group of First XI cricketers to have passed 150.
Since then, he has averaged close to 30 with the bat and has proven himself a handy change bowler, either with left-arm medium pace of finger spin.
“I am super-excited to be appointed the coach of such a great club,” Shane said.
“Because we have such a young group, I have taken on this job because I don’t want the players to have the pressure of impressing someone new to the club.
“The potential is there with the players we have, I want them to focus next summer on enjoying our cricket as a group, and if we achieve that, then it follows that the club will be doing well.
“I want everyone to train hard so that they perform well on a weekly basis, knowing that they have the full support of the coach because, if they put in, I will back them.”
The club is backing Shane Murdoch to take a talented playing group to a new level.
“Shane will have the all-of-club focus that we want, but with our hard wicket sides all making finals, and two winning premierships, we will be looking to him to have impact with our turf teams,” Tom Levick said.
“We are a club that welcomes newcomers, but at the same time wishes to develop and promote players from within, particularly through our junior programs.
“Shane fits into both those categories, he was a newcomer, and an impressive one, just a few summers ago, but has become such an integral part of the club that we can proudly say with this appointment, that we are promoting someone who is well and truly a Two Blue person.”
Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club passed a significant milestone in the truncated 2019/2020 season – the first club in the GCA to reach 100 premierships – 60 in senior cricket and 40 in the juniors.
“Those premierships in the summer just gone, as well as bringing up our century, tell us we have a great base from which to build for the future,” Tom Levick said.
“Shane Murdoch will play in key role in that building process.”
The club is also pleased to confirm that Dylan Hodge will be the First XI captain next season.

GCA Air Quality Guidelines

The GCA management committee met last night to introduce air quality guidelines that are to be activated in senior competitions for the remainder of season 2019/20 commencing this Saturday.

With unprecedented recent weather conditions the GCA is acting to reduce risk to players and officials health and well being and is requesting full support of clubs and officials in a commonsense approach.

We have confirmed with Cricket Australia that their recommendations within the guidelines are that play should be suspended within community cricket competitions when air quality levels measured for PM2.5 read 150+.

Please read the attached GCA air quality policy guidelines and communicate to club members.

The GCA will be using the EPA South Geelong site as it’s monitoring tool.

Please visit the EPA AirWatch website to view current levels  –

Policy operational process…

Prior to match start time…

On days of poor air quality clubs will be notified by 11:30am by email and Facebook, should the reading be 150 and above and play will be abandoned for the day in all senior grades.

During the match….

Should the air quality deteriorate the GCA Facebook site will be updated hourly with the current reading and any match advice.

When the graph reading reaches 150 as stated in the Facebook updates, matches will cease immediately and play abandoned for the day in all senior grades. Should a result not be achieved at the time of notification matches will be declared drawn.

Player safety and wellbeing is our primary concern and ask clubs to fully support this important initiative.

Please visit the EPA AirWatch website to view current levels  –

Improving the practice nets and making them safer

The Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club is pleased to announce that its next major development project through the Two Blues Foundation, the club’s official fundraising arm, is an upgrading of our practice facilities, especially in the area of player safety.

In the lead up to summer and over the season, the nets are used on a daily basis by all generations, from juniors through to the Over 60s players. The wear and tear is significant and maintenance an on-going issue. Upgrading the pitches, and making the whole area safer for those practising, particularly juniors, has now become a high priority for the club.

“Our club has a great history of success, an exciting present and a highly promising future, particularly through our junior programs – one of the biggest in Geelong,” said Two Blues treasurer, Mark Ainsworth. “As part of working towards that future it is vital that our practice facilities are of the highest standard, and that they are also safe. Extending the netting out along the bowlers’ run-up will making training for cricket both more enjoyable and reduce the risk of injury from wayward balls.”

Upgrading the nets is just one of many major improvements the club has undertaken in recent times to ensure Queens Park/KFC Oval keeps it standing – as adjudged by The Geelong Advertiser – as the best cricket ground in Geelong. These include the purchase of a new roller, new digital scoreboard and new change room facilities.

If you would like to make your tax-deductible contribution to helping create the future of the Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club, visitt the below website of the Australian Sports Foundation.



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.

2019-20 Pre-Season Training Guide


Melbourne indoor- venue address – TBA




8 Roxanne Place Moolap

Sundays 4.00-6pm- Specified batting sessions ( players to be advised of date & time )


Tuesday 5-6pm – Bowlers Group  & prescribed batters TBA


Friday 2nd AUGUST           7:15pm to 8:45pm for 3 nets

Friday 9th AUGUST               7:15pm to 8:45pm for 3 nets

Friday 16th AUGUST           7:15pm to 8:45pm for 3 nets

Friday 23rd AUGUST           7:15pm to 8:45pm for 3 nets

Friday 30th AUGUST           7:15pm to 8:45pm for 3 nets

Sunday 25th    AUGUST       4 TILL 6PM – CULTURE SESSION



Sunday 25th         AUGUST             9.30-11am

Sunday 1st            SEPTEMBER      9.30-11am

Sunday 8th            SEPTEMBER      9.30-11am

Sunday 15th         SEPTEMBER      9.30-11am

Sunday 22nd        SEPTEMBER      9.30-1.30pm (Practice Match?)

Friday  27TH ( PUBLIC HOLIDAY)  or Sunday 29th SEPTEMBER – 9.30-1.30pm (Practice Match?) TBA

Tuesday/ Thursday training starting dates (KFC Oval)

Tuesday 17th        SEPTEMBER      5-7pm

Thursday 19th      SEPTEMBER      5-7pm

Tuesday 24th        SEPTEMBER      5-7pm

Thursday 26th      SEPTEMBER      5-7pm

Tuesday 1st          OCTOBER           5-7pm

Thursday 3rd        OCTOBER            5-7pm

Coaching Contacts

Devon Royce 0409549249

Shane Franklin 0439764030

Dylan Hodge 0400213634

Rod Kiddle 0409524841

Jackson Davis 0435881487

Rhys Bennett 0410302708

Jarad Battenally 0418908575

Brendan Twaddle 0400688970

Vale Kevin Higgins

Local sport recently lost one its true characters with the passing of Kevin Higgins in early July aged 68.

A champion footballer and talented sportsman Higgins played 46 matches with the N&CCC from 1994/95 as a punishing right hand bat and thoroughly entertaining team mate. Those matches yielded 1728 runs at 38.4 with 3 centuries and strangely enough 32 wickets.

With 507 runs in his first season (ave. 63.64) Higgins won the top 10 batting award and along with Simon Payne (142no) smashed a 240 run 4th wicket partnership against Leopold 3rds – a club record to this day.

In 1998/99 Higgo again won the Top 10 batting with 511 runs and both the club and GCA 5th XI batting average with 507 runs at 50.7. This was his final season at the club.

Kevin Higgins was natural sportsman debuting for Geelong in 1970 in the then VFL at 19 years. He also played 8 GCA 1sts matches with St Josephs in 1972, and later Thomson averaging 25.8 with the bat with t a top score of 73. He also played social cricket with Newtown Footballers.

Read Nick Wade’s Geelong Addy article on Kevin Higgins, contribution to local footy;

2019 AGM News

Our AGM was held on Monday evening whereby we elected our committee for season 2019/2020.

We congratulate Tom Levick who after many years of service as Junior VP takes over from Frank Tuskes as President.

Shane Franklin has been appointed as Club Coach and will no doubt be looking forward to reacquainting himself with the players after leading the club for two seasons in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Welcome back Shane.

Congratulations also to our newest committee members in Shaun Patterson, Tim Hosking, Mark Sanders, Jarad Battenally and Nick McGuane who are all taking on new roles as administrators and volunteers of the club.

Go the Two-Blues!

Shane Franklin

Tom Levick