Season Overview – First Grade

The First Grade headed into the 2021–22 season with a young and developing playing group with a splash of senior players retiring or moving home in the break from our premiership year in 2021. We also lost our Coach 5 weeks before the season with Wayne Pearson stepping in to take on the extremely difficult role on short notice.

Wanneroo had a tough start to the season in the one-day format of the game where we missed experience players through suspension and injury, although we were missing players it was great exposure for some young talent. After starting 0 and 4 we pulled together as a group to perform much better in the longer format of the game and most importantly gave our young core group more exposure at 1st grade level. Against the red ball.

A key focus was placed on playing a consistent and competitive form of cricket but understanding that results don’t just happen that hard work will eventually pay off if not this year but in years to come. We play in a 16 team competition and you can’t expect to be at the top all the time especially when you have a big turnover of personal but as long as every individual is improving their own game all these things pay off down the track.

Throughout the year we had Solid contributions from our teenage brigade in Aryan Varsani (scored a 50 on debut vs Perth round 1), Hayden Stumpers (bowled extremely well on Debut to get 2/30) and Connor Spangenberg who played all 15 games for 280 runs @22.  All three gained valuable experience which will benefit them in season 22/23.

Deon Billington had a fantastic season at the age of 21 he scored 324 runs @ 27 and took 22 wickets at 21, I am very proud of the rewards Deon is getting on the field and it is no surprise to me as he is continually working on his game and trying to improve every week, a future leader of this club.

Lachie Poulter, Bailey Richards and Caiden Eaton well done on bowling on some really slow pitches this year that were not suited to your bowling,  I think you will all learn from the games you played and how you guys will work as a unit together going forward. All three of you are still under the age of 22 and are just coming into your prime as long as we bowl in partnerships together, I think all of you will have a lot of success in season 22/23.

Other Special mentions Jimmy Newnham A true clubman, a pleasure to play with well batted this year scoring 364@28 while taking the gloves Michael Oday another team man 200 runs and 15 wickets very solid season on turf I think you are now becoming more used to the surface coming from the hard decks and will only improve in the next few years with us.

Richo and Strawbs the veterans, although the individual performances on the park might not have been what you wanted your biggest asset is passing on your experience the young guys at our club and I think were both tremendous at this. We need you both to continue to pass on information and experience to guide the next core group through to making finals cricket in the near future and still plenty of runs in both of you.

To Wayne, Sean, Brendan thank you for your hard work and many hours helping us out throughout this season and those prior. Our Club is a better place by having you in it, thank you. Thank you to our Selection Committee Dave Spangenberg and our Cricket Committee lead by President David Minear for making everything happen, wouldn’t be possible without you. On a personal note, it has been my absolute honour to be able to play and then to captain a side at this great club for 2 years, I have made mates for life and created great memories.

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