Welcome to our second edition of "In the sheds...", brought to you this week by a quick bowler who has devastated most (if not all) batting line-ups in Sydney.
In the sheds... The Pre-season
If you have been lucky enough to go deep into the prior season's finals series you will know the feeling of disbelief when the first pre-season session is announced in July.
The atmosphere at home is typically tense with Hayza bemoaning the fact that we are all going round again, how early in the year it is, how cold it is etc. That being said just before 8pm on July 28 we bustle into the team bus/family wagon to be greeted by the chirpy faces of club stalwarts James Crowley and Dave Miller. The disbelief on all our faces is evident when we turn up to the SCG nets to see training in full swing with 60-70 eager players already charging in and flashing cover drives…here we go again.
It doesn’t take long before Hayza’s storm clouds lift as he spots his usual targets (Henry Clark a prime example) for some light-hearted sledging. Crowls scurries away to the keepers’ corner whilst myself and Dave wander up towards the bowlers.
The first 10 minutes on arrival is spent shaking hands and saying hello to the familiar faces, wandering passed the newbies in their colourful kits and looking in amazement at the full time students who have all grown 6 inches taller and put on 30kgs of muscle (Dugald Holloway comes to mind).
Then the dreaded time comes where bowling begins.
The young punks are all full of beans - charging in, claiming an extra 2 feet over the front line, and bowling at 150 kph (or thereabouts). Then I’m up… trying to remind the muscles which haven’t used for 3 months what they are supposed to do, barely being able to reach the popping crease, sending the ball down at a pace Jimmy Rogers would be disappointed with.
To make matters worse, the batsmen are waiting and licking their lips – embracing the flat flat flat SCG indoor nets – looking to take advantage of the early season freebies as they dispatch the ball to all areas of the nets. Fortunately, bowlers don’t leak too many runs in pre-season nets courtesy of having fielders in the perfect positions for each ball.
After an hour of pain and suffering the first session is over. The mood in the car is more buoyant on the journey home, exchanging the stories which have been told through the evening and discussing the new look to the squad.
During this year’s pre-season we have been lucky enough to send a squad to England and two squads to Queensland for some IV games (against Oxford, Cambridge, UQ, Melbourne and Adelaide). These trips have been a great mix of cricket and team bonding as we look to build on a solid 2014/15 season.
These trips have been as important as the pre-season net sessions in preparing for the year ahead, thrown together with some team social functions for dessert and just quietly, the SUCC squad looks like it is ready for the season to begin.
The buzz of anticipation for the season ahead, coupled with the desire to lift more premierships in April, means the feeling in the sheds leading in to round one is always one of excitement. There are some big shoes to fill given Adam Theobald’s retirement and Scott Henry and Sean Abbott both moving on, however it gives some great opportunities for someone to come through the ranks and make a name for themselves.
Good luck to all as we lead into the start of the 2015/16 season – the sheds will be rocking.