Last time Gisborne was going for three successive Gisborne and District Cricket Association top grade premierships, Glenn Waites was playing for the Dragons.
Now more than 25 years later, Waites has taken on the coaching reigns as not only the club’s top side but their second side go searching for a third straight premiership.
Waites was announced on Monday night as the Dragons new coach, replacing Simon Harman who stepped down after two successful seasons in the role.
Waites who has been out of cricket for a number of years, said the timing was right for him and couldn’t think of a better club to coach than the club he grew up playing for.
He’s following in his father’s Stan Waites footsteps, with Stan coaching the side in the late 1970s.
Stan was captain-coach of the Dragons premiership side in 1978-79 and was part of the premiership side the next year.
“I played up in Gisborne and captained the Central Highlands team before playing state under-17 cricket,” he said.
“I went to Collingwood to play district cricket, but the travel became too much and I moved back to play with Gisborne and played in back-to-back premierships [1990-91 and 1991-92].
“I then moved on to Glenroy as captain-coach, before I went to Northcote and captained their second XI.
“With having four kids I haven’t had much time to coach until the last year or two. Gisborne approached me and it was perfect timing.”
Waites will be a non-playing coach, as the club decided with growing numbers of players at the club they needed someone who could work on player development through the grades.
He said the club’s junior program was what appealed most to him.
“The junior talent is exciting,” he said. “There’s a strong junior program and we want to make sure it comes through.
“The current committee has done an incredible job getting the club back up to where they belong.
“There’s a chance to create a dynasty. “
Two Dragons young guns Riley Vernon and Roby Lane, who both played in the McIntyre Cup premiership, will head to premier cricket for the upcoming season.
Waites said at this stage it didn’t look like they would lose anyone else and were talking to a couple of potential recruits.
Dragons’ president Andrew Headberry said they were thrilled to have Waites back at the club.
Waites replaces Harman who decided to step down after two years as playing-coach. Harman made the decision to step down before the Gisborne and District Cricket Association finals series.
The Dragons top two sides, McIntyre and C-grade, both went on to win the premiership for a second successive season.
Harman is set to continue on at the club as just a player.