UNITED has made its first move in its push to return to the Emu Valley Cricket Association finals.
The Tigers have announced Harry Whittle as their new captain for the 2018-19 season.
The all-rounder joins the Tigers from Huntly-North Epsom in the Bendigo District Cricket Association, while he has also previously played with Kangaroo Flat.
“I’m looking forward to joining the club. I haven’t played in this competition before, so it’s something new,” Whittle said.
“And captaining a side will be a good challenge. I haven’t done it since juniors.”
The captaincy of the Tigers during the cricket season is another sporting leadership role for Whittle, who during this football season is an assistant coach at Huntly to Denis Grinton.
Whittle, who takes over as United skipper from Josh White, joins the Tigers on the back of the club enduring a rare absence from the division one finals last season.
The Tigers, who struggled all season to field a consistent side, finished fifth in 2017-18, missing the finals for just the third time since 1980.
“The club is really keen to try to get a good list together and get back up the ladder,” Whittle said.
Whittle hasn’t needed to look far in securing his first recruit, with his brother, Mac, also joining the Tigers.
“He’s coming across as a wicket-keeper and opening batsman, so hopefully, he can get a few runs on the board,” Whittle said.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk a few more boys into getting involved.”
Whittle is following in the footsteps of his father, Rod, who is a former captain at United.
“It gives a little bit of added incentive to try to captain the club to a premiership, which is something he couldn’t do while he was here,” Whittle said.
“He has played in a premiership here, but not as captain, so it would be nice to get that over him.”
The coming season will be United’s 50th anniversary, with the club to hold a weekend of reunion celebrations on November 24.
The EVCA season starts in October.