Gladstone Park is focused on being competitive this year in the North West Metropolitan Cricket Association Vic Kyte Shield.

Having nearly a dozen players leave in the off season, the Burras made the decision to drop down a grade to be at a level they thought they could be competitive.

Burras president Wayne Matthews said it hadn’t been ideal losing so much experience at the same time.

“From last year, we lost around 11 players for various reasons, some have moved, some have retired and some for work.

“It all happened at once. It’s difficult when you lose so many players.

“We have to drop down a grade to be competitive or they would lose interest. We’ve still been competitive with the first team.”

With the loss of so many players, the Burras have got a big youth focus across all their sides.

Throw in top early availability issues and the Burras are trying to find their feet.

Matthews admits some players are playing in grades they aren’t quite ready for, but hope it will help them and the club long term.

“We lost a lot of experience and we are a young club this year,” he said.

Gladstone Park’s Justin Dowden walks while watched by fellow batsman Dylan Perera. Picture Mark Wilson

PHOTO GALLERY: Gladstone Park vs Strathmore Heights 

“We’ve looking to build up. What we’re doing, is looking to the juniors and youth. Our second team is full of young guys and they had a win on Saturday.”

The first XI side has two wins from its first four matches.

On Saturday, they lost to Strathmore Heights in a one-dayer.

The Burras were bowled out for 179, with just under four overs remaining.

Justin Dowden continued his good form,  top scoring with 56 in the middle order.

Strathmore Heights made the runs in the 36th over, finishing 3-185.

Lachlan Rose was the pick of the bowlers, taking two wickets.

Matthews said it was a pretty even game.

“It was tough, we had a few players out,” he said. “We were missing three players.

“We were pretty competitive, so we weren’t too disappointed with the way we played.

“It was a close game and we put in a few kids with others missing.

“They are 16-17 and they are learning the game.”

In other results, Hume was defeated by RMIT, while Donnybrook had the bye.