There is a groundswell of confidence in the direction of the Spotswood Cricket Club’s women’s section.
Doors are starting to open for the Woodswomen, who were granted promotion to the Shield competition, the highest grade in the Women’s Community Cricket Competition, despite finishing in the semi-final last season.
The Twenty20 champions of last season will now be front and centre on the main ground at McLean Reserve, having spent most of its time playing on the bottom ground at the venue.
The future is looking brighter with the Woodswomen devoting more time and effort into growing the junior girls section.
To top it all off, new coach Tracey Gleeson, with more than 35 years experience in the game, has arrived this summer to share her experience.
Promotion into the Shield competition has already had the desired effect for Spotswood.
“They were happy to put us up because they want us to progress as a club,” Gleeson said.
“We want to attract more players and the higher we get, the more likelihood we have of attracting players to the club.
“This year the girls will be playing on the main ground at Spotswood, rather than the bottom ground.
“We said to the club that it’s time, if you want us to start attracting players, we need to be using the best of the facilities that we’ve got.”
Is Spotswood ready to the challenges that will present in the Shield competition?
The Woodswomen’s narrow defeat to highly rated Mt Martha in their first game on Saturday would suggest the team is ready.
Gleeson was prepared to go a step further and say that finals should be the aim for the Woodswomen.
“My aspirations are finals and I think the girls are quite capable of making the finals,” she said.
“There’s two strong clubs from last year, Frankston and Mount Martha, but I believe we’ll give all teams a good run for their money with the calibre of girls that we’ve got.”
Gleeson has retained Kim Borg as captain for this season. Borg was stellar with the ball last season, taking an incredible 41 wickets at 5.9.
“Kim did a fantastic job last year, got them to the semi-finals and won the T20 final, so I can’t see why we can’t work together,” Gleeson said.
“She’s a good cricketer, so I was happy for Kim to stay on as captain.”
Spotswood is still on the lookout for more female players – both in the women’s and girls.
The Woodswomen fell just short of the numbers required for a second team, but they still intend to field a Twenty20 side.
“There’s still a possibility for a second team in the Twenty20 comp,” Gleeson said.