The timing is finally right for Eynesbury Cricket Club to make the move to the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.
The club started in 2012 in the Western Suburbs Churches & Community Cricket Association and had been looking to make the move across to the GDCA the past couple of years, but things haven’t fallen into place.
This year has been different, with the club officially accepted into the GDCA late last month.
Eagles president Jim Herlihy said there had been overwhelming support for the move, with club members voting 28-1 in favour.
“The main reason was to ensure we kept the kids at the club coming through to seniors,” he said.
“We want them to play seniors at the club … we also want to play a better standard of cricket and on better grounds.”
Several Eagles players have previously played in the GDCA, including captain-coach Luke Castle and his brother and assistant coach, Hayden Castle.
Hayden holds the GDCA’s top-grade highest score record. He made 220 not out for Riddell in the 2013-14 season.
Both Castles were keen to play once more in the GDCA.
Herlihy said the club hoped it’s top side would start in the GDCA B-grade competition.
He said the club wasn’t expecting to have the same success it had enjoyed in recent years in the churches competition.
The Eagles dominated the Lowe Shield A-grade competition last season, easily winning the grand final.
They finished runners-up the year before and won the title in 2014-15.
“Hopefully we will go straight into B-grade,” Herlihy said of the GDCA move. “We’re not going in thinking we can win the competition, but we don’t think we will embarrass ourselves
Herlihy said the club had already signed some new recruits and was talking to a few more players.
He said the club would field four sides again and would consider having a fifth senior side.
It is also looking to expand its junior program through the addition of a youth girls side.
He said junior players at the club did not pay fees. Instead, they are asked to sell raffle tickets to help with costs.
The Eagles are also hopeful the club’s new home ground will be completed by the end of the year.
The club has been playing home matches in Melton instead of Eynesbury as there isn’t a sports ground in the town.