Liam Sherlock has been appointed East Sunbury Cricket coach for this season and will have a couple of handy assistants behind him.

Sherlock was announced as playing coach earlier this week, with former coach Steve Grey and new recruit Lance Watts as his playing assistant coaches.

Thunder president Mark Wilkins said Sherlock had shown leadership qualities in recent years.

“He was virtually an assistant coach under Jessy Carroll,” Wilkins said.

“He was close mates with him.

“He’s only 23 now and showed us the maturity one day that he would lead the club.”

Wilkins said it had been six to seven weeks in the making to set up the coaching group.

Sherlock previously played under Grey when he coached the Thunder and the two had remained good friends.

Wilkins said after a couple of years out of the game Grey was looking forward to returning to the field.

“He’s popular with the group,” he said.

“Steve’s jumping out of his skin and can’t wait.”

Once Grey decided to return to the club, it opened up some doors and eventually led to the signing of Watts.

East Sunbury

Steve Grey is returning to East Sunbury.
Picture Shawn Smits.

Wilkins said Watts would be a good pick up and would be wicketkeeper in the top side.

“He’s been at Sunbury United since he was eight,” he said.

“It was a hard decision for him to leave a club had grown up with. His son Brody is 15 and is coming across too.

“He’s played senior cricket at Sunbury United too.”

Wilkins said it was important for Sherlock to have some support from players who have played a higher level.

The captain will likely come from the three of them as well.

He said they were expecting to get a few players back who didn’t play last season in another boost for the club, but weren’t going to go out and target other players.

The club will again play in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield [B-grade competition].

While the GDCA approached the Thunder to step into McIntyre Cup to fill the void left by the departure of Sunbury, Wilkins said it was an easy decision to stay where they are.

“The last three years we haven’t been in finals and haven’t been able to finish off games,” he said.

“We felt it was an injustice for us and the league for us to go up.

“We’re quite happy with our five year plan. We’ll try and get into McIntyre Cup the right way.”