Excitement builds for Eagles

Chris Pereira is back at Endeavour Hills. 190251 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

It’s certainly an exciting time for the Endeavour Hills Cricket Club.

With a new senior coach on board, as well as a duo of quality new recruits and a large chunk of re-commitments of its core first XI group, the Eagles are one club in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association looking to build on the gains from an impressive back-end of the 2019/20 season.

Despite missing out on finals in the East/West 1st XI season, the Eagles finished the season off strongly, and managed to cap off a brilliant Twenty20 campaign with some much-needed, and morale boosting silverware.

But coming into the new season, the Eagles have made some crucial changes, with Nick Bole-Brown – a Victorian and Australian over 50s representative cricketer – signing on as the Eagles’ coach for 2020/21, with the experienced campaigner expected to add plenty to a group looking to take another step in its development.

Eagles president Gary Parsons said the club was delighted to welcome Bole-Brown into the top-role, citing his experience, ability to bring cricketers together, as well as passion for further developing the talent in the club as a key reason for his arrival.

“We got him to do some training on our turf nets which a lot of clubs haven’t got, and he’s been pretty impressed and he could see there was a bright future and he wanted to help out the club,” he said.

“It’s about having an off-field coach for us, and it’s the people he will bring along – he’ll put a fair back into the club.

“To have all that experience and not use it, would be a waste.”

From an on-field perspective, the Eagles have also welcomed back quality seamer Chris Pereira after a strong stint with Hallam Kalora Park, where he will also captain the first XI next season.

Perira was a crucial part of the Hawks’ bowling line-up during his four years down at Frawley Road, snaring 75 wickets in 47 games at an impressive average of 19.56, but will now make his return to the Eagles where he last played in 2014/15.

But in the club’s biggest coup so far, the Eagles have brought in quality top-order bat Austin Heldt, a former Victorian under 19 representative who has played Premier Cricket with Dandenong and Casey-South Melbourne, where he featured in four games at first XI level for the Swans.

Heldt only recently captained North Dandenong in the DDCA’s tough Turf 1 competition last season and enjoyed a solid season, racking up 390 runs across all formats.

“(With Austin), it’s about longevity, we see him as a junior and senior player and hopefully we can mould him into an Endeavour Hills leader in the future,” he said.

“And Chris comes back to the club, and there’s a bit of unfinished business for him, so we’ll be looking towards him as a club leader, and then we look at Austin to step up into the future.”

Parsons said that there is a genuinely exciting vibe coming out of the club after finishing the season off strongly, and hopes after also retaining a majority of its first XI players too, can translate that to even further on-field success.

“If you take away the first five rounds and then out of the next seven we win five, we did pretty well,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that if we beat Box Hill in the last round it would have been a difference in a couple of spots in the ladder.

“But it was great considering where we were – if we were consistent and held the catches, who knows.

“And after the Twenty20 win, we seemed to bring that across to the Saturday competition and they were consistent, and the boys playing another year with some extras will be great.

“There’s a lot of positives and hopefully we can translate that across.”