Court House veteran Sam Doubleday has spoken about the need to give the club’s “talented” younger brigade opportunities to shine, while bemoaning the loss for the season of allrounder Matt Brady.
As the reigning premiers look to back up their season-opening one-day defeat of Kookaburras in a round two one-day clash against Mornington on Saturday, Doubleday also touched on what he described as the reigning one-day champion’s great versatility.
“If we can continue to build as a team and enjoy our cricket, that’s the main thing,” he said. “We’re giving our younger guys opportunities.”
He added: “Everyone in our first-grade side, bar one or two, can bowl. It’s pretty handy having a side full of bowlers when we need to change things up when required.”
The side’s young guns include teen Alex Beasley.
The speedster has shelved his bowling for the time being after suffering a knee injury and is focusing on batting. He opened the order against Kookaburras and scored 21.
“He’s a great young kid,” Doubleday said. “A real quiet kid. “He’s like all the other kids in our side – he’s got some talent … he’s sort of focusing on batting in the first half of this year and he’s reaping the rewards.”
Doubleday also continues to reap rewards for his devotion to off-spin – claiming 5-18 off 6.5 overs against Kookaburras. The 28-year-old has been a first-grade mainstay for a decade.
“I’m always looking for things to improve,” he said.
Doubleday said Brady’s decision to take the season off, after he and his partner recently welcomed their first child, was a blow to the side.
Brady – the Group 4 first grade and the Bulldogs’ player of the year in 2017 – recently said he would skip cricket this season to ensure he was fresh for the start of the 2018 league season.
“He’s one of the best cricketers in town, in my opinion,” Doubleday said.
Doubleday said that while Mornington had struggled in recent years, they could “turn around and bite us on the rear” if Court House took them lightly at Wolseley Park.
In the other match on Saturday, Kookaburras and Albion clash at Kitchener Park.