THE Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) will next week hold a post-mortem into its failed Melbourne Country Week campaign.
Nanjing Night Net

Former WDCA board member John Pattison used his weekly column in The Standard this week to call for a curfew to be introduced, suggesting off-field behaviour may have contributed to the side’s fourth placing in division two, two places lower than its previous year’s performance of second.

“The Warrnambool side, although ably led by the experienced trio of Ben Boyd, Brett Eldridge and Dustin Drew, was let down by some of the younger players, both on and off the field,” he wrote.

“Maybe a curfew should come in and those not wishing to accept it, don’t go. These types of weeks are all about the team, not the individual.”

WDCA chairman Robert Haberfield said he was unaware of any behavourial issues, while captain Ben Boyd dismissed the need for a curfew.

Boyd said he and team management scheduled compulsory meetings each night after dinner so players were together and behaving.

“The late nights definitely didn’t happen,” Boyd said.

He said it would have been easy for his teammates to take their focus off cricket after suffering two-ball and eight-ball defeats in their first two games.

Haberfield said the association’s post-mortem on Monday night would include coach Ray Drew, Boyd, vice-captain Brett Eldridge and team manager Glenn Kelson meeting with the board.

All aspects of the team’s performance and preparation would be reviewed and discussed.

“We already have a written report from the manager,” Haberfield said.

He said the association held a debrief after each Country Week campaign, looking at what worked and what “wasn’t so positive”.

He said a change in accommodation this year “might not have been up to scratch”.

Haberfield said player behaviour was monitored during the week.

“There are no specific rules in place as to what policies we have regarding conduct of players on and off the field, but we do make it known we expect the highest standards,” he said.

Pattison’s suggestion of a curfew was raised every year, he said.

Asked if he was disappointed with the side’s fourth placing at Melbourne, Haberfield said: “I will only be disappointed with the result if we are not getting 100 per cent performance from the players.”

“If the players are doing all they can to be prepared and play to the best of their abilities, I won’t be disappointed,” he said.

He said the association paid for its players’ accommodation and travel costs for the week. It also footed the bill for uniforms, travel to lead-up games and training venue hire fees. Players contributed $100.

“There is a lot of money put into it (by the association) and it comes from the clubs, so we want to make sure we are getting it right,” Haberfield said.

“There is also some pride involved. We want the WDCA to have the best team it can and everything to go to plan, so that’s why we have the de-brief. It’s normal practice.

“South West is on the same sort of drive and they are getting the results.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.