Darley Cricket Club has appointed Melton premiership player Michael Alexander as its new coach.
The club announced on Tuesday that Alexander would take over the coaching reigns of the Ballarat Cricket Association club from Heath Pritchard.
Pritchard coached the side for two seasons and led the club to its first ever BCA grand final last season.
Pritchard decided in December that he wouldn’t go on for another season.
That led the Lions to turn to another experienced campaigner in Alexander, who came across from Melton which plays in the higher level Victorian Sub-district Cricket Association.
Alexander, who has played premier cricket for Carlton, has been a stalwart at the top of the order for Melton.
He has also been involved in several premierships with Melton, where he played his junior cricket.
“The club got in contact with me about a month ago and we had some discussions,” Alexander said.
“I thought it was a good fit and I knew a few players at the club.
“I had no plans and was planning to continue with Melton. The new role sparked some motivation and interest and seems a good fit.
“It’s mixed feeling leaving Melton, I thought I’d stay a one club player so there is some sadness. I have a lot of good friends at the club.”
It’ll be the second time Alexander has taken on a coaching role. He coached Melton in 2015-16 when it was going through a rebuilding phase.
This time it’s a different set of circumstances.
“The goal is to win a premiership,” he said. “I think the philosophies and skill set stays the same. The cornerstone of what I do won’t change, just a few tweaks to the game plan and play and train to have success.”
Alexander, who is likely to slot in at the top of the order, said most of last season’s side would return.
“We’ll probably only lose one player,” he said. “We’re talking to one or two players to add some depth.
He said the club hoped Pritchard would remain at the club. Pritchard took 20 wickets and averaged 25 with the bat last season.