MUCC 3rd XI unearth gems for the future

on Monday, 11 April 2016.

MUCC 3rd XI unearth gems for the future

Melbourne University Cricket Club's head coach Kim Littlejohn believes the club has unearthed some gems down the grades after a promising campaign for the Students.

The club's Thirds are fresh on the back of winning this season's flag after a fine performance against Monash Tigers in last weekend's Grand Final at Carlton.

The Seconds, meanwhile, lost out in the granny to St Kilda, and the Fourths dropped out of contention at the semi-final stage.

Uni's First team ended a disappointing 16th, but they will have high hopes for a positive finish in 2016-17.

"The exciting thing is that this depth is all young talent that we've been able to develop over the last couple of seasons, particularly through our winter academy program," said Littlejohn.

"The challenge for us now is to continue to develop this talent to play First XI over the next couple of seasons.

"We had a few injury and form issues before Christmas to key players, that exposed and stretched us. With the depth we have coming through our pathway it all bodes well for the future of our ones.

"I'd like to see the ones improve next season and have the club press for a top-three position in the club championship."

Defeat this time last year for the Thirds was a bitter bill to swallow.

But rather than wallowing in that defeat, they dusted themselves down and trained hard in the winter for another crack this season.

It's fair to say they dominated the ladder and wrapped up the clean sweep with Sunday's conclusion to go with the white-ball flag they grabbed earlier in the year.

Their coach was delighted with the effort the boys put in over the entire campaign.

"It was a tremendous effort by our guys," he continued.

"They bowled and fielded really well on Saturday and just kept applying the pressure to Monash until they broke through.

"The batters then did their job on Sunday and we were able to get the job done. We had worked hard all year on doing the simple things well and these guys were simply outstanding at being able to execute.

"The Thirds are group of guys that just work well together as a team. The exciting thing is there are four or five guys capable of stepping up to the Seconds next season."

Of those guys, Littlejohn is looking on the likes of Matt Mitchell, Ben Roughsedge, Andrew Young, Andrej Yaksender, Will Morrison to make the jump up as batters.

Seamer Umair Butt and Shorye Chopra will hopefully come through with the ball. All these players have needed a strong leader, and they've had that with skipper Nayan Sharma.

"Nayan has been outstanding all year, he's been able to instil confidence and self-belief in all of the members of his team," continued Littlejohn.

"These guys are a very tight unit and everyone understands their role and how to execute this role within the team. This is testament to Nayan's captaincy and the encouragement he gives to everyone."

Littlejohn and his coaching staff can reflect on a job well done when they look back on this campaign.

But they know more work will need to be put in if they're going to make Uni a force to be reckoned with, not just for one season but for years to come.

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Celebration for Mary Dodgson to be held in the Pavilion at Unimelb on Tuesday 11th of July from 6-9pm. Please contact MUCC if attending.

by Melbourne Uni CC