A PAIR of recent roadblocks won't deter Maiden Gully Cricket Club from continuing to pursue a future in a turf wicket competition.
Maiden Gully has been unsuccessful in admitting an under-18 team into the Bendigo District Cricket Association this upcoming season.
And the Lions also had a proposal to amend the EVCA by-law that restricts the competition to a "hard wicket" league defeated at a recent meeting.
Work on the installation of a turf wicket at Maiden Gully's Marist College main oval will begin in September and the Lions expect it to be playable in the second half of the upcoming season.
With an abundance of junior teams, four senior teams, plus a women's side, and the imminent laying of the turf wicket, the Lions are determined to provide a full turf cricket pathway for their players and have had their sights set on the BDCA.
The club had hoped it could take the first step towards its BDCA ambition by joining the under-18 competition in 2019-20, but that proposal has been rejected.
"We applied to have an under-18 side in the BDCA this season, but we have been knocked back by the BDCA," Maiden Gully secretary Shane Rabbitt said on Thursday.
"Our under-18s could have played away games for the first half of the season and then in the second half of the season played at home on the turf wicket to start to develop our pathway.
"But we've been notified it wasn't a plausible option for the BDCA, so we as a committee will now have a look at some other options."
Maiden Gully fields teams in the BDCA junior competition and last season had sides in the Under-16A (won the premiership), Under-16B, Under-12A, Under-12B and Under-11 (two sides) divisions.
"The worst thing a club can have is players who have to leave once they reach a certain age, which is what we've got by only going to under-16s," Rabbitt said.
"Our whole purpose is to create the complete pathway at Maiden Gully. We've been very fortunate with the Marist College development and the turf wicket; it's an opportunity we feel we can't pass up, so we'll continue to look to find different ways to get the turf utilised."
This season's BDCA under-18 competition will have just eight teams in it, with both Huntly-North Epsom and Bendigo United lacking the numbers to field a side.
"Maiden Gully has asked us to consider admitting their under-18s into our competition. We've spoken to our clubs about going forward with a bye in our competition and they were happy in conjunction with the board this season to push forward with an eight-team competition," BDCA president Wayne Walsh said.
"We feel at this stage we don't need to bring another team in that would cause a bye.
"Going forward, Maiden Gully can re-apply, but they also need to show how strong a club they are within the EVCA and what benefit they can be to cricket in Bendigo.
"There's a lot of factors in place when any association is being asked to look at bringing in a new club.
"Right now we've got 10 clubs in the BDCA and you could argue whether 10 is too much as is with the size of our area."
Meanwhile, Maiden Gully's motion to have "hard wicket" competition removed from the EVCA by-laws was recently defeated at the league's annual general meeting.
"At this stage because the clubs have voted against the use of Maiden Gully's turf wicket in the EVCA when it's ready, we won't be playing games on there," EVCA president Ron Gray said.
"But we have a special meeting next week where we will be discussing the current situation involving Maiden Gully."
Also in the EVCA, the division one competition will return to 10 teams with Axe Creek to again have a side.
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