DIVISION one Warrnambool and District Cricket Association sides are again facing anxious weeks, with division two grand finalists East Warrnambool-YCW and Nirranda vowing to push for promotion should they triumph.
Nanjing Night Net

Association chairman Robert Haberfield yesterday confirmed a place in the top grade was an added spoil for the weekend’s winner.

“For the record, promotion and relegation is part of the system,” Haberfield said.

“It will be considered, along with all the other requirements by the board in due course.”

He said promotion would only be open to the winner of the division two grand final, as stipulated in the association’s rules, providing it met a detailed list of requirements.

Before this season the association promoted two clubs to make division one a 10-team competition.

With both East and Nirranda indicating they want to step up, existing division one clubs will be nervous, attempting to work out where they would sit on a two-year rolling average in a number of key areas, including performances in all grades, facilities ratings and ground condition.

East Warrnambool-YCW first-year coach Dan Oakley said the season had been dedicated to more than just a premiership.

“It’s our aim to get back to division one,” Oakley said.

“A lot of people have done a lot of work around the place. The facilities we have got down there as are as good as any other in the league. “We have just spent $40,000 on new nets, we have a good turf wicket.”

Oakley said the club’s development was being stifled by not having a side in the top grade.

He said the club was aware of the many requirements it had to meet.

“Our next step is to make sure we do tick all the boxes and to get an under 17s side.

“It would be good to bring them up rather than bring them in from outside.

“It’s a lot easier to recruit kids if you play division one,” he said.

“I spoke to a lot of players in the pre-season and they said they would come if it was division one, not division two.”

Nirranda president Glenn Dalton said the Knights were keen to rejoin the top grade.

The Knights played division one in the 2007-’08 and ’08-’09 seasons after being promoted prematurely.

“When we first went up to division one we didn’t want to because we only had six weeks’ notice and we didn’t have any time to recruit,” he said.

“The second year we recruited and were more competitive and we were very disappointed they sent us back.

“That is still a sore point with a lot of people around the club. We were happy in division two but once we got a taste of division one, that’s where we want to be.”

Dalton said the Knights had offers from existing clubs to co-share a turf wicket, ensuring it met the requirements.

“We haven’t really discussed what our next move would be if we won.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we want to focus on this weekend first.”

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