IT’S still early in the Bendigo District Cricket Association season, but it’s so far so good for Bendigo.
Three rounds into 2017-18 and the Goers sit a game clear in top spot on the ladder as the only undefeated first XI team.
Whether the Goers stay there or not, time will tell, but for the meantime it’s refreshing to see a new team occupying the top rung.
The BDCA has long been plagued by predictability, which is highlighted in the fact that since 2005-06, the 12 premierships have been shared by just four clubs: Strathdale-Maristians (five), Bendigo United (four), Eaglehawk (two) and Golden Square (one), who combined have also filled 39 of the 48 finals berths through the period.
The Goers have certainly been a club long starved of success in the BDCA.
They haven’t played in a first XI grand final since 1999-2000, and their last premiership was in 1993-94 when they won an epic two-run thriller against Eaglehawk.
No doubt captain-coach Shane Koop (pictured) will be ensuring the lid is kept on tight at the Goers after wins over Huntly-North Epsom, Bendigo United and Kangaroo Flat – the latter two finalists last summer – to open their campaign, but victories early in a season are vital and Bendigo is certainly laying itself a solid foundation to build upon
The positive start on-field for the Goers – which continued in round one of the Twenty20 – is complimenting what has already been a significant season for the club.
Importantly for Bendigo, no longer are the Goers forced to split their time between their home ground, Atkins Street, and their former training facilities at Garden Gully.
Their newly-opened $330,000 nets at Atkins Street means they now have one venue to call home, while the club is also fielding its inaugural all-girls team coached by Mark Ryan in the BDCA under-14B competition.
On and off the field, the Goers should be pleased with the strides they are taking forward.