This columnist loves a long-running theme as much as the next publication.
So it gives Musings HQ great pleasure to build on last week’s debut One Player Per Club Team with another edition today.
But to make matters even more interesting, this time we’re crossing codes.
It is cricket season, so the squad this column is picking will be batting and bowling its way into the history books.
Rather than select one player from each Cricket Shepparton outfit though, this time we are lining up Goulburn Valley League stars in the schoolyard and assessing just how they would go with willow and four-piece in hand.
The only qualifier here is that selections cannot actually be making a name for themselves in cricketing circles — leaving the likes of Joel Brett, Dylan Cuttriss and Wade King watching on from the sidelines.
In essence, this team is a wishlist of who you would want representing your club at yearly charity cricket matches on sheer presence and athletic ability alone.
This columnist does apologise in advance if any of the squad actually rates themselves highly on the cricket field.
Maher’s Musings’ GVL OPPC Cricket Team
1. Clint Riley (Mooroopna)
When you think of opening batsmen, the first word that comes to mind is reliable. Reliability is certainly what Clint Riley provides for Mooroopna in the middle of the ground, and that is what he will also bring to this outfit. Capable of winning the hard ball at the coalface, Riley should also be able to graft the hard runs that are associated with facing up to the opposition’s opening bowlers with a new rock in their hands.
2. Noah Wheeler (Echuca)
The second word that comes to mind when discussing great opening partnerships is aggression. You have to have someone able to take the attack back to the bowler, and Musings HQ will entrust that role to Echuca hard-nut Noah Wheeler — as long as he does not take batting lessons from teammate Darby Henderson. Wheeler can harness his attack at the football and use it to play the Matthew Hayden role to Riley’s Justin Langer. It just might be the making of the latest brilliant Australian cricketing partnership.
3. Jason Cole (Seymour)
They say to always put your best talent at first-drop and calling Seymour co-coach Jason Cole talented is an understatement of epic proportions. One of the only GVL footballers to be able to confidently say they have racked up a half-century through possessions, Cole will surely be able to transfer his historic 61 touches into the same amount of runs in this side. Gives great leadership out on the field as well.
4. Nathan Marrone (Rochester)
Rochester gun Nathan Marrone is hard to take down on the football field and he should be even harder to dismiss with bat in hand. The star could peel off multiple centuries for the Musings squad, such is his all-round talent as a sportsman.
5. Riley Ironside (Kyabram)
There is room in every side for a speculative gamble on a young talent. Kyabram’s Riley Ironside has talent in every fibre of his young being and that will translate well from the football field to the cricket pitch.
6. John Ikupu (Euroa)
Nothing says pick me at number six more than the guaranteed chants of ‘‘Johnny, baby’’ that will surely resonate across the venue when John Ikupu strides to the crease with bat in hand. Able to play as an undersized ruckman for Euroa, Ikupu will use every bit of his strength to hoist the ball into the stands on a regular occasion. Will also provide handy medium-pace overs.
7. Liam Duguid (Shepparton)
The gloves in this team fall into the hands of Shepparton’s Liam Duguid. As the man behind the stumps all day you need the ability to have a singular focus each and every delivery, and Duguid’s work as a tagger and defender certainly primes him for the role.
8. James Martiniello (Benalla)
You always need a workhorse with the ball and not many work harder than Benalla’s James Martiniello. While the midfield marvel will have plenty on his plate after taking on the coaching duties at the Benalla Showgrounds, Martiniello will still make time to bowl plenty of overs at first change in this side.
9. Linc Wellington (Tatura)
Tatura’s evergreen veteran has enough left in the tank to match it with the best midfielders in the GVL — meaning he can definitely hold up one end with the ball during a long day in the field. This columnist pictures Linc Wellington as the wily off-spinner who thinks a batsman out rather than rips a ball through their gate — but he may have that in him as well.
10. Shane Neaves (Shepparton United)
Nothing sends fear through a batsman like the sight of a towering quick marking the start of his run-up somewhere closer to the boundary than the non-striker’s end. In Shepparton United ruckman Shane Neaves, this side has found exactly that. Even if he only lopes in off of three steps he will certainly be instructed to step out a full 30m run-up for theatrical purposes.
11. Tyreece Collison (Shepparton Swans)
One of the most exciting prospects coming out of Princess Park is young Tyreece Collison. With a background in boxing and a penchant from breaking packs open like a can of sardines, Collison makes the perfect candidate for a lightning-quick fast bowler. He will certainly knock the blocks off of a few unsuspecting batsmen, and he bats 11 so he can stay as fresh as possible and be able to go 12 rounds (or consecutive overs) with the ball.
12TH MAN. Lachie Christopher (Mansfield)
Every good cricket team needs a 12th man who acts as a specialist outfielder. Lachie Christopher’s ability above his head makes him a brilliant man for the role. From patrolling the centre half-back or centre half-forward line for the Eagles to covering the space between long-on and cow-corner for this Musings outfit, Christopher’s talents will always serve his team well.