STRATHDALE-Maristians’ veteran Ben DeAraugo has never been one to back down from a cricketing challenge.
You’ve only got to recall some of his deeds with the bat in grand finals during the Suns’ golden dynasty to know that challenges bring out the best in DeAraugo.
And he’s now preparing to take on his next challenge – captaining the Suns.
DeAraugo has big shoes to fill as the new captain of Strathdale-Maristians after assuming the reins from his good mate Linton Jacobs.
“Linton did a great job for many years; he has been a fantastic leader through a very successful period for the club,” DeAraugo said.
“When he advsied that he wanted to step down I had a think about whether I wanted to do it and decided it was a good challenge to take on, so I’m excited by the prospect of it.”
Strathdale-Maristians have former Bendigo player Mitch Blackman, as well as Darius Modoo-Loy from Mildura, joining the club this season.
The Suns also have veteran middle-order batsman Nick Baker returning after a season off, while opening batsman Andrew Hosking has retired
“We only have a couple of recruits, with our main emphasis to be on our young players,” DeAraugo said.
“We’ve got a really strong junior program and we want to be able to provide opportunities to our younger players as we have done in recent years with the likes of James Vlaeminck and Daniel Clohesy.
“There’s a lot of good players who have been part of under-18 premierships the past two years, so we want to make sure there will be opportunities for them.”
Cameron Taylor will be DeAraugo’s vice-captain.
While there has been a change to the Suns’ captaincy, Sean McCann is continuing on for a seventh season as club president.
The Suns are one of five clubs, along with White Hills, Eaglehawk, Sandhurst and Kangaroo Flat, that will field teams in the BDCA’s new fourth XI afternoon competition that will be played on hard wickets.
The Suns’ fourth XI will play their home games at Beischer Park, with the inaugural team to be skippered by Anthony Purcell.
“We’re really excited to have a fourth XI and we think it will be a really good development pathway for your younger players,” McCann said.
“We think it’s a really good initiative by the BDCA and we’re looking forward to being a part of it.”
The All Seasons Hotel has again signed on as the club’s major sponsor, as well as the naming rights sponsor of the Suns’ home ground.