There’s a rediscovered sense of belief at Ovens Valley United.
The Tigers are full of confidence after last weekend’s breakthrough victory against Rovers-United Bruck - snapping a season-long drought since their last triumph.
And they’re well and truly a united front, drawing players from far and wide.
“As the map reads, we go from Mount Hotham to Wangaratta,” senior manager Tom Chettleburgh said.
“We’ve got five players from Wang, a handful from Whorouly, Myrtleford, Bright and one from Harrietville.
“It’s a logistical nightmare when it comes to training because you're trying to balance that.
“The Bright boys are making the effort to drive 70 kilometres to Whorouly for training because they know how much it means to play A grade cricket.
“It’s working out so far.”
With Bright not fielding a side this season, a number of its players have crossed to Ovens Valley, including Dylan Bursill, Alexander Dalbosco and Harry Jamieson.
Bursill played a vital hand in the middle order after the Tigers were in early danger, combining with captain Ryan Withers in a match-winning partnership.
The Bright trio were among five debutants alongside English imports Michael Speed and Jack Haycock.
Chettleburgh admitted there is plenty of depth at the club which hasn’t been the case for some time.
“Last year was hard because Connor Hammond didn’t return and he was our leading run-scorer and our leading wicket-taker (Tim Ruaro) went to Howlong and Ryan Withers went there as well,” Chettleburgh said.
“We lost three of our best players and it didn’t get any better from there.
“Being senior manager and head of recruiting, my main goal was to get Ryan back and it fit in well with him having a child and moving back to Myrtleford.
“We’ve taken on the Bright contingent for at least this year and having them boys has been a massive boost.
Delatite awaits the Tigers this weekend.
“We’ve got six one-dayers straight up and we’ve always struggled to bat our overs out in two-day cricket, so we’re really looking to have a fair dinkum crack at it,” Chettleburgh said.
“In our B grade side, the top-six could all play A grade and they made 193 in 32 overs last weekend.
“That’s the positive pressure we’ve got within the club at the moment, we’ve never had this kind of depth so it’s exciting.”
In other games, Yarrawonga-Mulwala hosts Benalla Bushrangers, City Colts take on Beechworth, Greta meets Wangaratta, while Rovers United-Bruck has the bye.
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