It’s the start of a new era for Ashfield Cricket Club in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.
After a disappointing 2016-17 season which resulted in just five wins across the three teams and none in the top grade, the club is hoping for major improvement this year.
There’s a new coach and a new committee with a new outlook.
New president Nathan Anderson said they were hoping this year would be a much better year.
The club’s top side will again play in the B-grade competition due to an expansion from eight to 10 teams, despite finishing bottom last year.
“The previous president had been there eight to 10 years and had decided he had taken the club as far as it could go,” he said.
“I felt I had a lot to give and would love the club to have a better outlook.
“I’ve been at the club six or seven years and last year was the hardest year we’ve had on and off the field.
“Being realistic we didn’t deserve to stay up because of our results.
“We want to get that winning feeling and get that vibe back.”
In good signs for the future of the club, several younger people have stepped up and taken on roles.
Anderson is just 23 and three other committee members are aged 23 or under.
Ashfield life member Anthony Travers has returned to the club as coach.
Former coach Jason King is back this season after playing just three games last season. King is one of the premier batsmen in the competition.
Anderson said they had managed to pick up a few other players from the Sunbury Kangaroos Football Club, which shares the same facilities.
Ashfield has lost last year’s coach Ryan Pretty who has returned to his former club Sunbury United.
Young star Corey Woolley and his father Shane, a former Ashfield president, have also made the move to United.