By Mikayla van Loon
Local cricket has wrapped up for the first half of the season, with a short break now taking place over Christmas.
Although not the end to the year Mooroolbark Cricket Club was hoping for, president Danny Martin said the teams are remaining positive.
“It’s actually a tough year on the field. We’ve got four teams and we lost all four games over the weekend,” he said.
“We are sitting second bottom in the ones and your club relies on the ones to win because that’s where you stay up or get relegated. So we’re definitely having a tough year.”
Martin took over the presidency at the start of the year, having not planned to move from his junior president role but when the position was offered it felt like the right fit.
“We knew it was going to be a tough year losing players but one thing that I’m very strong on is morale around the club, making sure we’re all backing each other.
“One of the really positive things is we’ve had to get some of these younger players to play a higher grade but they’re actually performing very well and they’re holding their own. So that’s going to hold us in good stead in the long term.”
The club’s main aim for the rest of the season is to stay in the Trollope Shield because it is named after a Mooroolbark great but off the field Martin said he wants to keep morale and the social aspect of the club high on the priority list.
One of the ways the committee has started doing this has been through social media, to regularly post the achievements of the teams and individuals.
Martin said celebrating the major milestones of the players is really important to thank and congratulate these players who have helped grow the club and who have contributed many hours of time.
Among some of those high achieving players are Adrian Danisch who played his 100th senior game and 1st XI Skipper Mark Ross who has taken over 250 wickets and is approaching 4000 runs.
But perhaps one of the Barkers’ most well known players Jeffrey ‘Joffa’ Matthews has reached some incredible milestones for the club in the last few weeks.
Not only has he played over 300 games for Mooroolbark, he has surpassed 4500 senior runs to put him in the Top 20 all time run scorers for the club.
Remembering the past has also become a key element for the Barkers and holding premiership reunions will form part of that.
“We like to celebrate premiership reunions and we’ve actually got a premiership reunion from 1971 this year, so we’re actually going to make a really big deal of it,” Martin said.
“So all these sorts of things both personally and in the club, this committee is really really focusing on celebrating those milestones from yesteryear and current ones.”
Mooroolbark Cricket Club will return to training on 6 January and play the first game back on 8 January.