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GDCA: East Sunbury Thunder keeps faith in youngsters

East Sunbury Cricket Club will continue to focus on youth as it attempts to extend its rise through the Gisborne District Cricket Association grades.

After starting in G-grade six years ago, the Thunder has quickly risen through the ranks and will play in B-grade this season.

Mark Hourigan is head coach after Steve Grey stepped down to coach East Sunbury Football Club.

“I put my hand up,” Hourigan said. “I’ve coached before, played here the past four or five years and been involved in the development side of the juniors.

“With Steve Grey deciding to go, it made the decision a lot easier.

“It’s good to be there to help unleash the youth.”

The focus on youth at the club is already paying off, with its two under-16 sides meeting each other in the 2013-14 grand final.

“We want to bring them up to speed with playing at this level,’’ Hourigan said.

“There is still another level to take in the process [McIntyre Cup] and we need to continue looking forward.”

Hourigan won’t be the only one with a coaching hat on at East Sunbury this season, with the club appointing a coaching panel of Jessy Carrol, James Williams, Tim Wollington and Lee Carter.

Williams, a top-order batsman, crossed from Romsey in the off-season with his brother and father.

“We’ve decided to go this year with a whole coaching group as we have a lot of juniors,” Hourigan said.

“It allows older people at the club to move away from senior roles in the coming years. It also allows us to have specialist roles, with one coach able to work with a smaller number of players in specific areas. We can spread the knowledge across the players at a greater level.”

Hourigan says Carrol is one of the players they are looking at to take the next step.

“Jessy is now the captain of the senior side and he’s only in his early 20s. Jake Calleja is another player to watch.”

Hourigan says the Thunder hopes to be competitive and in the finals race; anything else will be a bonus. It starts the season away against Rupertswood on Saturday. Coach Mark Hourigan (right) and assistant coaches (from left): Jessy Carrol, Tim Wollington and James Williams. Photo: Damjan Janevski Atricle found in Macedon Ranges/Sunbury Star Weekly - September Issue


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