By Justin Flynn
Collendina has staged a major recruiting coup with the appointment of Curtly Balshaw as co-coach for the coming cricket season.
The 24-year-old top order batsman played A grade cricket for the Cobras as a 14-year-old and has played for Geelong, Melbourne, South Barwon, North Geelong, Leopold and Whittlesea and a short stint at Barwon Heads as a junior.
Balshaw will share the coaching duties with Nathan Walter who will remain as on-field captain after sustaining a batting injury last season.
“I’ve been speaking to Nathan the past few years, but wanted to stay in the GCA [Geelong Cricket Association] and play as high as I can for as long as I can,” Balshaw said.
“But I wasn’t really enjoying just playing cricket so when Nath said ‘if you had a coaching role, would you come back?’ I said yes.”
Balshaw sat out all of the past season and said he enjoyed having his weekends free.
“It was good to get away from the game and have a year just to go camping with mates,” he said.
“But I’m looking forward to getting back into it now.”
Collendina has been one of the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association’s best sides over the past decade, but has fallen back to the pack during the past few seasons. With youth starting to emerge, the Cobras could again taste finals action sooner rather than later.
“Collendina’s been a powerhouse for years, but the last two years they’ve struggled a bit,” Balshaw said.
“But the juniors are coming through. We just have to push them further.”
Balshaw said it was daunting to have the responsibility of being a coach, but it is something he has been wanting to do.
“It will be good to think about the game in a different way,” he said.
“There will be a bit more responsibility and a different way of thinking.”
MEANWHILE, Barwon Heads top-order batsman Lachy Campbell has joined GCA club Murgheboluc.