Bowling Club's Day backs in his team ahead of new season

You can always feel the sense of occasion when cricket returns; when the roller and mower go over the pitch and the outfield is shaved so short the ball seems like it has a motor inside of it when it's first hit through the covers.

But Cowra Bowling Club cricketer Chris Day, whose side will be looking to rebound from a difficult 2018-19 season, says his team won't be getting too over-excited as regular fixtures begin.

The only fixtures the Bowling Club won last season were against the winless Canowindra side, though they were often competitive against other teams in the competition.

"We'll keep it pretty simple, [it'll be] the same sort of processes and plans," Day, who was last year's skipper, said.

"We had a lot of turnover in players at the start of last season, and [the new players]... they've had a year to learn the ropes in first grade and we really expect them to kick on from that."

The Cowra Valleys and Bowling Club will play each other from 1pm on Saturday afternoon, and Day, who will now lead during the week, relinquishing game day captaincy to Mick Curtale, said the Bowling Club line-up will mix the familiar and the new.

Diminutive wicket-keeper Mike McNamara will move up to the top of batting order, Tom Thuaux returns after a season in Canberra, while Blake Bourke, a newcomer to Cowra, will also play.

"He should be a power-hitter through the middle overs for us... [he] seems to hit the ball pretty hard," Day said of Bourke.

Meanwhile, Kayne Veney, a leg-spinner who is currently part of the under 14s Central West Wranglers squad, will get an opportunity to bowl in first grade, with Day quick to talk up the youngster's ability.

"We've got really high wraps on the kid; he can seriously bowl," Day said.

"He's just got... a little bit of cheek... the way he lets the ball go and the revs he gets on it, we're really excited to see how he goes playing first grade this year."

However, in what is sure to cause some on-field banter this weekend, Emerson Baratto, previously with the Valleys, will also join his cousin Curtale this season in the Bowling Club set-up.

"He's probably going to take the new ball for us and we've got pretty high hopes for him as well," Day said

"We'll be able to let them know if he takes a few [wickets] on the weekend."

Western Zone resumes

Day also said he was excited to get out on the park for this weekend's Western Zone Premier League opener, with Cowra travelling away to take on Parkes at Woodward Oval.

While players such as Josh Carmody (Boorowa) and Peter Guthrie (Young) aren't in the Saturday competition, they will also be making their way over for Sunday's game, as part of the broader South Lachlan area that Cowra encompasses.

"They've obviously been around the Cowra set-up for quite a while," Day said of Carmody and Guthrie.

Despite a move to Young, former Canowindra player Peter Guthrie is still within Cowra's zone and will take on representative duties for the region against Parkes on Sunday. Photo: Ben Rodin

Despite a move to Young, former Canowindra player Peter Guthrie is still within Cowra's zone and will take on representative duties for the region against Parkes on Sunday. Photo: Ben Rodin

"In the premier league it is a step up from most of the rep stuff like Grinsted Cup... It does make it a little bit easier on a smaller centre like us to be able to pull in quality players like that."

With young players like McNamara and Barratto will also be part of the squad, and Jacob McNaught and Brendan Traves the only big names missing, Day was keen for the team to have a faster start than last year.

"Last year we started a little bit slow... we're really excited to be contesting the Premier League and [we'd] really like to get points early in the year."

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