The Glen fields new-look side for season opener
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
DEFENDING premiers The Glen are set to field a new-look side in today's much anticipated first round of Gladstone Cricket A grade action.
After much talk over the offseason, the new draw featuring one one-day game and one twoday game per round gets it first test.
But it is last year's premiers who sustain the most interest for the first round.
The Glen go into the one-dayer against Brothers at Sun Valley Park fielding just three of last year's premiership winning team (David Jefferis, Aaron Bachmann and Liam Kirk).
Most of the absence's are through unavailability, but Jason Seng (Brisbane) and Warwick Smith (overseas) are definitely out.
On the plus side, they welcome back batsman Grant Mitchell and all-rounder Clint Haggerty, while young gun Michael Gosschalk is expected to make the step up from reserve grade.
The Brethren will again rely on the experience of David Lewis, Pat Laws and Mal Carlyon to lead the way.
But they have also done a bit of recruiting, adding Dane Smith and Peter Clarke to what looks to be a impressive line-up.
In the first round's other clash, rivals BITS and Calliope go head to head in the two-day clash at Bunting Park.
Calliope may have won the wooden-spoon in their debut A grade season, but they did show enough to suggest improve this season. They have a new skipper in Brett Rideout at the helm and he will be looking to start his reign with a win.
Expect there to be a bit of spice in this clash, as Calliope feature their new recruits coincidentally from BITS, Darren Mottram and Aaron Baldwin.
But BITS go in as favourites on the strength of their form as last season's surprise-packets.
Jaysen Chilcott remains in charge and he would be looking for his team's younger players such as Lucas Hall, Dan Gelder and Vaughn McDonald to have big seasons.
Yaralla have the bye in round one, but will play under a new skipper this season with reigning Gladstone Cricketer of the Year Troy Webster taking charge from Chris Stitt.
FIRST ROUND DRAW A grade (today) The Glen v Brothers (Sun Valley Park), Calliope v BITS (Calliope) Reserve grade (today) BITS v Brothers (BITS), Calliope v Yaralla (Palm Drive 2) B grade (tomorrow) Calliope 1 v Yaralla (Palm Drive 2), The Glen 1 v BITS 1 (Sun Valley), Calliope 2 v BITS 2 (Calliope)