A self-confessed ordinary dad has helped turn Clarence Town’s cricketing fortunes around.
Brad Winchester started the season looking to find his son Seth a game of cricket.
By season’s end he had formed Clarence Town’s first junior team in more than a decade and debuted for the town’s senior team at age 52 cementing a spot at No.3 in the batting order.
This Saturday morning Seth and his mates line-up in the Maitland and District Cricket Association’s under-12 grand final and in the afternoon Brad takes his spot in the Dungog competition’s B-grade grand final against Tillegra.
“I never expected things to turn out like this. I was only interested in finding Seth a place to play cricket,” Winchester said.
“He had played at Seaham and I went to their AGM and they were talking about recruiting players from Clarence Town.
“It made me think why not put together a team from Clarence Town.”
With no local competition, Winchester decided to field a junior side in the Maitland competition.
“Only two boys had played before, but I put a notice in the local school’s newsletter and the response was great,” Winchester said.
The Clarence Town under-12s range in age from 10 to 12 and will face Northern Suburbs in Saturday’s grand final.
“The boys love it, every time we train kids come from all over town to have a hit,” Winchester said.
“We are definitely looking at have two junior teams next year. It will allow a path for the older boys to move up the ranks and for the young ones to come in.”
Winchester said he was surprised by his own cricket success.
“I had played a bit of indoor cricket before, but had never played the outdoor game,” he said.
“They are quite different games, so I wasn’t sure how I would go when the blokes asked me to come along.
“I made my cricket debut at 52 and it turns out I can bat a bit. I’m batting at No.3 and my top score is 37.
“Last week I made 23 not out in our semi-final win.”
In the future Winchester hopes to create a junior competition across Dungog and to field two senior teams from Clarence Town.