NEW Coro captain Haydn Pascoe can’t wait for the Griffith cricket season to start for more than one reason.
Speaking to The Area News on Wednesday, just three days out from his one-day opener against Exies, brought back bad memories for the Cougars’ all-rounder.
Last year, 72 hours from the first over of the season, Pascoe tore his anterior cruciate ligament playing touch football, and missed the entire season.
The blow was a bitter one for Pascoe and his side, especially after his stellar form to end the 2010/2011 season.
The new Coro leader admitted he was not back to full fitness, but said he had been bowling strongly in net sessions leading up to his clash with Exies at Exies No. 2 tomorrow.
“I’m probably 85 per cent ready, but I’ve been waiting for this weekend since this time last year because I actually did it this same time out from the season – three days,” Pascoe said.
“But I should be pretty right for the weekend, I’ve been bowling as hard as I can in the nets the last few times, but I’m not sure how long my spells will be, I don’t think I’ll bowl the full 10, but I’ll give it a fair crack.”
Pascoe said his side, which is strengthened by the additions of fast bowler Glenn Cox and John Witherspoon from Hanwood, knows first grade will be tougher than ever this year with the Leagues and Yoogali merger.
“That’s what I’m really looking forward to, the comp’s stronger now and there’s no byes now with the even numbers, so it should be interesting,” he said.
Marc Tucker is back again to lead Exies, and said his side needs to consistently perform, not just fire out of the blocks in the first two months like they did a year ago.
“It wasn’t the best finish for us towards the end of the year, we started really well, but we just couldn’t finish it off,” Tucker said.
“People’s attitude was a bit of a problem last year, they were keen, but their heads weren’t in the game, so we’re looking to sort that out this year.”
Exies have lost Brent Harrison to second grade, but they have picked up opening wicketkeeper-batsman Rick Merz from Wollongong, with the other notable addition being Tom Valeri from Yoogali.
Tucker said the Cougars will give his side an early indication of where they sit in the competition’s pecking order.
“They’re always a good side to play, very tough, so it’s going to be good to see where we are at first-up and hopefully get an early win and get the confidence up,” Tucker said.