Tim O’Brien has been unveiled as Werribee’s new captain-coach in sub-district cricket.
The appointment was confirmed by Tigers president Kirk Norton at the club’s presentation night on Friday.
O’Brien, a top-order batsman and spinner, replaces Mitch Johnstone, who parted ways after one season with the club and has since joined Coburg as captain-coach.
O’Brien, 29, a long-time servant of the Tigers’ first XI, is ready to ramp up his involvement.
“I’m very excited, looking forward to it,” he told Star Weekly. “I’ve been at the club now for four years. I just want to see us improve and go further forward.”
Werribee fell a game short of the grand final in the season just completed, losing to Caulfield in the semi-final last month.
It was a bitter blow for the Tigers, who have been around the mark and challenging for premierships in the past four seasons only to fall short on every occasion.
O’Brien is looking to a bit of tinkering here and there rather than sweeping changes, as he believes in the players already at the club.
“We’ve got a very talented group at the club,” he said. “We’ve got a few people in mind that the club is interested in talking to, but as I’ve only been appointed over the weekend, we haven’t really had time to look into that yet.”
The main advantage of the in-house appointment is that O’Brien already has intimate knowledge of the playing group.
“I’ve already built a relationship with most of the boys at the club,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shaun Dean has won the 2015-16 Kirk Norton Medal as first XI’s champion player.
Dean was the only batsman in the south-west group to score more than 700 runs this season and did so with a remarkable average of 88.
His haul included two 100s and five 50s
Dean’s decision to relinquish the captain-coach duties at the end of 2014-15 played a part in his huge season with the bat.
“He could focus on his own game and it really benefited him,” O’Brien said. “He had a fantastic season.”