Gill keen for young Gulls to step up

Barwon Heads has shown faith in coach Jonathan Gill. (Justin Flynn) 209656

Barwon Heads Cricket Club coach Jonathan Gill said his focus would be on youth and rebuilding following the departure of several key players.

Sam Schaller, Lewy Hyland and Lachie Campbell have joined Murgheboluc while Charlie Hurst will also play in the Geelong Cricket Association.

The Seagulls reappointed Gill as coach for his third year at the helm.

“There’s a great opportunity from within the playing group for senior players to lead the club and I’m really excited to see our juniors come through,” he said.

“It probably could be classified as a rebuild, but we still have some very good players and we will be looking to add to our list.”

Excited by the prospect and challenge that lies ahead, Gill said the rapid development in Barwon Heads’ junior program has been considerable with the club promoting a number of teenagers to represent the club at senior A1 and B1 level last season.

“A number of our junior boys have been playing Barwon Rockets and our girls (in the) Rockette,” he said.

“Once the COVID-19 restrictions are eased, I’m really eager to start coaching again and to see just how much they’ve developed over the winter months.”

While Gill said the loss of Hyland (476 runs last season) and Schaller (294 runs and 28 wickets) would hurt, he believed it created an opportunity for others to step up.

“It’s no secret we’ve had three senior departures from our list and we will need a few tweaks for team balance, however with players returning and the depth of our juniors, my realistic goal is for all four senior sides to play finals this year,” he said.

Gill is one of the most highly credentialed cricket coaches in the Geelong region, having played and worked with Premier League clubs Dandenong, Richmond and Geelong.

The club, in partnership with Barwon Heads Football Netball Club, recently announced the installation of lights and an electronic scoreboard at RT Fuller Oval, both which are expected to be installed prior to the start of the season.

The club said it would make announcements on a number of senior players returning to Barwon Heads in the coming months.

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