Sharks sniff special season

Latrobe Cricket Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary this season and president Steve Grover is hoping the milestone will form part of a golden summer for the Sharks.

The centrepiece of the anniversary celebrations will be a past players’ dinner in Morwell on 28 January.

That weekend Latrobe will take on Morwell at Peter Siddle Oval.

“We did request to play Morwell, it’s been granted so we’re playing… on our turf at home and we’ll be inviting our past players to come down and have a look before the celebration,” Grover said.

“Our third grade is playing at home on the (reserve’s) second ground (that weekend).”

Latrobe is one of the powerhouses of the Central Gippsland Cricket Association and Grover was quick to identify the reasons for the club’s success.

“I think even from the early days it’s been the administration and support from the community we have been getting,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of hard workers at the club who have been around a long time, like Bruce Dalgleish, Dave Stobbart, Bernie Vizard, Anthony Bloomfield and Kris Wells.

“They’re basically the backbone of the club.”

One thing Grover would like to see change was the club’s grand final fortunes.

For the past six seasons Latrobe has cruised to the grand final, only to be defeated on the big day.

“We’re putting in a lot of work to make it a very successful year on and off the field,” Grover said.

“Ideally it’d be very, very nice to win the flag for our 50th year.”

The club has appointed John Kus captain-coach this season and Sri Lankan import Tyron Gamage is returning. Gamage was a standout in his debut season last year for the Sharks, taking 33 wickets at an average of 13.8 while only conceding 2.4 runs an over.

He was no slouch with the bat either, averaging 18.9 and contributing a half century.

The Latrobe president said the club was hoping to lure another familiar face back to Peter Siddle Oval.

“Hopefully we’re getting another guy, Rob McKinley from Ireland, who played with us four years ago,” Grover said.

“We’ve got the ball rolling to get him back, hopefully by the end of November.”

McKinley averaged 42.6 with the bat when he played for Latrobe in 2012-13 in a season that included one ton and two half centuries.