Bulldogs not backing off

WODONGA will continue with its District-team experiment, despite winning only one game and finishing at the bottom of the ladder.

The Bulldogs are the first club to field teams in Provincial and District cricket and this year have used 85 players in various senior ranks of the competitions.

But the greatest impediment may be beyond their control — the turf wickets at Willow Park are likely to be out of action for the first half of next summer as the outfield is being re-seeded.

Club president Craig Borrell said the experience of playing on turf wickets was vital to developing emerging talent.

“Despite the results, the feeling is that we want to have another go at fielding teams in both competitions,” he said.

“The District side had three or four B grade, fringe A grade and Provincial cricketers but they didn’t have a great year.

“This year we had five sides — three in Provincial cricket and two in District.

“If we were a little light on numbers, then the push would be to play A and B grade and drop the C grade Provincial team.

“It’s a good enough competition but probably doesn’t do enough to develop the juniors and that is a focus for our club.”

Borrell said the challenge next summer would be providing turf wickets for A and B grade in both competitions.

“It is a discussion we have to have with Cricket Albury Wodonga,” he said.

“Willow Park was one of the best grounds in the competition in the first five or six weeks but, when the heat hit, the grass they planted just died off.

“Apparently it was a winter grass that couldn’t survive our summers.

“Our understanding is that the council will, after winter, kill all the grass and use material they take from scarifying other grounds to re-seed the entire pitch and surrounds.

“They say it could take until November but, realistically, it is probably December, even January next year.”

Borrell said there had also been early talks about taking cricket back to Martin Park — home of Wodonga Bulldogs Football Club.

“With the two cricket ovals right next to one another, it would be great for the club and cricket,” he said.

“That would need further talks with the footy club and the council.”