MAIDEN Gully Marist Cricket Club skipper Ash McLeod can’t wait for the start of the inaugural Northern Rivers senior women’s competition next month.
She just needs a few more girls to help her and her half a dozen or so team-mates to complete their side.
Maiden Gully Marist is one of seven clubs to commit to the new Sunday Twenty-20 competition, which hits-off on November 11.
The Lions will be joined by West Bendigo, Echuca, Leitchville-Gunbower, Nathalia, Shepparton Youth Club and two Kyabram Fire Brigade teams.
McLean, who has played about eight years of cricket at Maiden Gully and before that Kangaroo Flat and in Adelaide – ‘always against the boys’ – said she was thrilled to be chosen to lead the Lions as part of a new cricketing experience.
“It’s definitely very exciting – as much as it is great to play against the boys, it will be great having a girls’ side up and running and playing locally, instead of having to travel to Melbourne,” she said.
“It will be great just seeing all the other teams getting up and about and the competition growing over the next few years.”
The 18-year-old was confident of attracting the necessary player numbers and added all newcomers would be as warmly welcomed as she was when she joined first joined the club.
“Anyone looking for a new sporting experience, or to have a bit of fun … get out there and meet some new people,” she said.
“The club here has become like a family to me – I have always felt comfortable coming out here.
“Everyone is very welcoming, especially when I first came out here.”
MGMCC secretary Shane Rabbitt said the competition was designed to finish off the pathway for female cricket in central Victoria.
It will be great having a girls’ side up and running and playing locally, instead of having to travel to Melbourne.Ash McLeod
“We have players starting from as young as five in the Woolworths Junior Blasters and we have the junior age groups, but we have never had the ability to play senior cricket against women,” he said.
“This is the first year some clubs have got together and tried to put a competition together.
“We have had a lot of girls express interest, but we just need them to commit.
“We’ve got a grant to cover all the costs, the equipment, and we’re keen to get as many girls playing senior cricket in Bendigo as possible.
“The club is prepared to bend over backwards to help this team.”
The launch of a new women’s team has coincided with a club rebranding, with the ‘Marist’ title adopted as part of its name.
The Lions will host an information night this Friday at the Maiden Gully Recreation Reserve clubrooms at 6pm.
For inquiries contact Shane Rabbitt at firstname.lastname@example.org