Tullamarine is looking to inject some more youth into its side for this year’s Victorian Turf Cricket Association Senior division season.
Having thrown everything at a finals tilt last season and falling short, the club decided it would build from within.
Tullamarine president Matthew Pixton said this season was about getting back to basics.
The Demons finished last season in seventh spot, with less than two points separating fifth to eighth. The Demons had 11 points deducted off them due to an administration error, but would have still missed finals.
“It’s been a bit of a rebuild,” he said.
“As a committee, we made a decision to make a tilt at finals last season. With the players we had and some new players we thought they could take us to finals, but it didn’t pan out.
“With our two overseas players unavailable this season and a few retirements, we’ve decided to invest in youth.
“Our junior numbers are strong and we’ve got a one-day side for the first time. Numbers are good.”
The Demons have managed to keep the core group of four or five players together, led by skipper David Zahorodni, and plan to build around that group.
Zahorodni takes over as captain following the departure of both of last season’s captains. Adam Carton has retired, and Tom Van Den Berg has returned to Cairns.
English import Alex Machen joins the club as a top-order batsman-wicketkeeper, replacing Matthew Cross who is one of two imports who isn’t returning.
Machen had been playing for Ebberston Cricket Club in the Scarborough Beckett Premier League.
Pixton said they plan to fill the other spots left vacant with some younger players at the club.
“We had two 16-year-olds make their debuts last season and they’re back again,” he said.
“Kobe Walters and Zach Zuehlke are both bowlers and we know playing in VTCA senior division isn’t the easiest thing.
“They’ll bowl more overs this season and we’ve got some good support behind them.
“Dylan Watts is a young batsmen who might be able to come through.”
Pixton said with the off season changes they expected there may be times this season when they lacked a bit of consistency.
He said they probably don’t have the depth in the first team they’ve had the past few years, but had more numbers in the other grades.
“We might have some inconsistency early on but we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bath water,” he said.
“We’ve got some kids playing in our seconds and thirds that might be able to push through.
Tullamarine kicks off its season on Saturday against Greenvale Kangaroos in a one-day clash.