Charlie mixes it with stars

By Kyabram Free Press

KYABRAM Cricket Club’s Charlie McLay has come away with some fond memories from brushing shoulders with some Australian cricket legends in Shepparton last week.

Representing the Australian Cricketers All Stars side against an Australian Country XI, Charlie experienced the thrill of picking up a wicket in the first over of his four-over spell, which returned the figures of 3/34.

Charlie got clubbed for three sixes in one over to keep his feet firmly on the ground but it will be an experience he will savour for a long time.

‘High fiving’ former Australian quick and teammate in the game Shaun Tait was how he celebrated his first wicket.

‘‘It was unreal to play with some high quality players against some high quality players,’’ is how Charlie summed up his experience.

Another of the young brigade to do well in the game for the All Stars side, captained by former Victorian, KDCA and Cricket Shepparton’s Rohan Larkin, was Tatura’s Michael Archer, son of former Tatura sportsman Dean. He made 33 but apart from another of the young guns, Katranda’s Luke Nolan, who top scored with 55, didn’t get enough support with the bat to get the All Stars over the line.

Reunion just around the corner

THE countdown has started to the Kyabram Cricket Club’s mega reunion on Saturday, February 2.

Among the former players who have indicated they will be attending are a premiership captain from the 1960s, Laurie Quinlan, plus Dick Clay, Kelly O’Donnell, John Timms, Matt McMaster-Smith and Ian Purdey.

A former coach of the club, Jim Higgs, will also attend.

The reunion is being based around A grade premiership teams the club has produced since 1960, but any former players, officials or supporters will be most welcome.

To help with numbers for catering purposes anyone who didn’t receive an invitation but would like to attend is asked to contact Rob Asplin on 5852 2736.

Williams to coach U18s

KYABRAM Football Club premiership coach and Rochester and GVL legend Dave Williams will be more involved at his home club this year.

Williams has been appointed coach of the Rochester Under 18 side, in which he was assistant coach to Corey Windridge last season.

Williams coached Kyabram to their first flag in 17 years in 2013, in a six-year coaching stint at Bomberland.

Rochester will also have a new reserves coach this year, with Abikhair medallist Sam Frawley taking the reins from Nathan Whip.

Rochester has been quietly assembling a list of impressive recruits for the new season.

The surname of one these recruits — Miller — will ring a bell with GVL fans.

Isiah Miller is the son of former Rochester player Robbie Miller, one of the most exciting players in the modern era in the GVL.

Isiah joins the club from the South Bendigo Football Club where he has three top-three finishes in the club’s best and fairest award. He has also represented Victorian country side in three age groups and has been a three-time Bendigo League representative player.

Rochester has targeted bigger bodied players in its recruiting drive.

It has picked up an impressive list of newcomers and former club players, including Mitch Bright who spent last season with Heathcote League club Colbinabbin.

Cup winner was a top bloke

I WAS saddened to learn of the death over the Christmas break of Melbourne Cup winning jockey Johnny Marshall.

Marshall, who was 60, lost a battle against pancreatic cancer.

I got to meet Marshall in the Birdsville pub in 2008 when he was on a promotional tour with the Melbourne Cup and really enjoyed my brief time with him.

Marshall has been described as ‘‘a champion jockey’’, ‘‘a wonderful ambassador for racing’’ and ‘‘an absolute gentleman and devoted family man’’.

He became a household name in November 1999 when he rode the Bart Cummings-trained Rogan Josh to a fairytale victory in Australia’s greatest horse race. It was one of more than 2000 winners he rode during his celebrated career.

Other champions he rode for Cummings were Beau Zam, Sky Chase, Campaign King, Shaftesbury Avenue and Saintly.

Echuca signs Faulks

ECHUCA Football Club will have former AFL player Peter Faulks as a full-time player in season 2019.

The former Western Australian has committed to the Murray Bombers where he made a huge impression in one appearance with the club in 2018. He was credited with taking 16 marks in defence in that game against Shepparton United.

Faulks, who played three games with the Fremantle Dockers early in his career and also spent time with the Sydney Swans reserves, has played the last few seasons with Williamstown in the VFL. He chalked up 94 games with the VFL Seagulls and was a member of its 2015 premiership line-up. He has made a VFL Team of the Year and has represented the VFL. So it’s little wonder the Murray Bombers are stoked about him coming aboard, particularly with his experience to assist the many talented younger players in the club’s ranks at present.

Boyd commits to Bears

REIGNING GVL premier Shepparton may have lost some grand final stars, but the news hasn’t been all bad for the Bears as they start to prepare for the defence of its title.

One of its grand final stars, Harry Boyd, has committed to play a full season for the club in the coming season.

Boyd has spent the last two seasons splitting his services between VFL club Werribee and Shepparton.

The Bears have lost joint McNamara Medallist Nik Rokhar and other key players in Luke Smith and Jordon Butts from their 2018 premiership outfit.

Rokhar and Smith are trying their luck with Geelong reserves and Butts has been rookie-listed by AFL club Adelaide.

Merv best in state

ECHUCA Moama bowler Merv Harvey has claimed the Victorian Over 60s State Singles Championship.

Representing the Campaspe Valley Bowls Association, the Moama bowler won a series of sudden death knockout games to reach the final staged at the City Of Frankston Bowls Club. He took the final 22-15 against Rob Sutherland, representing the Metro West region. One of his earlier wins on the way to the title was against Ovens and Murray legend Ashley Bates who has represented Victoria over 150 times.

Picola league plans ahead

PICOLA District Football League could never be criticised for not giving plenty of notice for its future finals roster.

The league has named its finals venues for the next 12 years — up to and including 2031 — based on a rotational system around clubs.

This year’s grand final will be hosted by Berrigan, next year by Katunga while Strathmerton gets the 2021 gig.

And if you have any long-term plans and reckon you have a few years of living left you can slot in Jerilderie as the venue for the 2031 premiership showdown.