CORO Cougars skipper Haydn Pascoe says there are “no hard feelings” towards former star Paul Plummer despite his controversial switch to Leagues Club.
Speaking on the eve of the new Griffith District Cricket Association season, which starts tomorrow, Pascoe conceded the reigning champions are “gutted” to have lost one of the city’s most respected cricketers.
But the Cougars harbour no ill will towards Plummer, who has maintained his move to the cellar dwellars is all about lending a helping hand to the Panthers’ strong junior base.
“No hard feelings,” Pascoe said.
“If it was one of the stronger clubs then he wouldn’t really have much of an excuse to go.
“He just needed a bit of a challenge and that’s what he left for, to help Leagues Club out.
“After being with us for 10 years it’s definitely a bit harsh, but what can you do?
“Obviously we’re gutted - it’s a big blow, he’s a really big loss.
“But it’s time for everyone else to step up because he’s only one person.”
The remainder of the treble-winning Coro squad will get the opportunity to do just that tomorrow, when they will start warm favourites against Hanwood for their Peter Davis One Day Cup clash at West End.
Pascoe said the loss of all-rounder Plummer will be mitigated by the improvement in young paceman Alex Flood, but admitted the middle-order will need to step up and pick up the slack.
He was also pleased with how the Cougars have shaped over the off-season.
“I wouldn’t say the cobwebs are fully out but a few of the guys are hitting them really nicely,” he said.
“Maybe Saturday will get them back into the right mentality when they’re out there.
“We’ve been getting pretty good numbers in both grades and all the juniors are keen to get back into it.
“You always want to get a win on the board first up, get the confidence going.”
Yenda captain Shaun Stubbs, who takes over from Matt Bruce this season, said the loss of Plummer would matter little to Coro.
“I don’t think it’ll make any difference to tell you the truth,” he said.
“With all their juniors they won’t really miss Plum that much.
“They’re still the benchmark. They won all three comps last year so it’s pretty hard to go past them.
“But if we can hold onto our catches I reckon we can give them a run for their money this weekend.”
Stubbs said experienced batsmen Tom Spry and Peter Vardenega were the standout performers in the nets through the off-season and are raring to take on the Cougars.