KIEWA is hungry for cricket premiership success but that won’t stop it from putting its juniors first.
The longest continuous-running club will celebrate its 125th anniversary tonight at the Tangambalanga Community Centre with 200 past and present players expected.
President Ash Sutherland said all through its history Kiewa had prided itself on the development of its young players.
“We haven’t won the most number of premierships but our club is about giving guys a go,” Sutherland said.
“Players who come here get a chance to develop ... we’re about promoting juniors.”
The club has had more junior premiership success than in the seniors since it was established in 1887.
But Sutherland says the focus on the youngsters is the best blueprint for producing the most talented cricketers.
Kiewa’s president and captain remembers the club’s most recent premiership in 2005-06 and the quality of the players.
“I came back halfway through the season after being in Melbourne and overseas,” Sutherland, 34, said.
“It was the last year of the Wodonga and District competition.
“I’d left about five years earlier when there was a whole lot of under-12 players getting about.
“When I came back they were all about 16 to 18, fully developed and were really talented kids.”
Kiewa sits seventh on the ladder, two games adrift of the fourth placed Yackandandah.
But its best win of the season, against Mount Beauty last weekend, has given Sutherland’s team a glimmer of hope of a finals berth and perhaps something more.
Sutherland believes with several youngsters starting to find their feet at senior level, including young quick Ryan de Vries, a late tilt at a premiership isn’t out of the question.
“We’re not taking Bethanga lightly but we’re really looking at pushing into the top four with a win,” he said.
A social game of cricket will be held at the Kiewa Cricket Club tomorrow for those who can’t make the 125th anniversary celebrations tonight.