City add players with the hope of a finals finish this year

BETTER AND STRONGER: Karl Triebe will lead City again in the first grade competition and hopes for a better season with new players joining the club.
BETTER AND STRONGER: Karl Triebe will lead City again in the first grade competition and hopes for a better season with new players joining the club.

City are aiming to hit back from their last-placed 2016-17 Armidale Cricket season when they commence their new campaign on Saturday against Ex-Services.

The side launched out of the blocks last year but then lost a host of players to fall short come finals time. 

Captain Karl Triebe said City have kept some of the players from last year but have added personnel with the hope of a finals finish. 

“We have got a fair few new names but the core of it is fairly similar but there's a few new names that are going to come in and play for us and a few transfers which will bolster our side,” he said. 

“Last year we started off fairly strongly with the two early wins but we had quite a few guys drop out after that so that caused us a bit of trouble but this year we have got the numbers back from different areas to have a better season.”

A handful of new recruits come from their round one opponents, Servies. 

Triebe is unsure what to expect from Servies but is more concerned with putting City’s best foot forward to start the season. 

“I know of a few players they have lost but it will be interesting to find out what side they do turn up with,” he said. 

“This week we will actually be a couple short on numbers.

“For the school holidays weekend we will have a few guys out but we will scrape together what we have got and hopefully put on a good show.”

Triebe’s counterpart in Servies captain John Elliot agreed it will be an “interesting” clash with a number of lower grade players making the step up after several members of last year’s squad departed. 

“We lost Ben Jackson to Guyra, we knew that would be the case as soon as Guyra got a first grade side,” he said. 

“We also lost Leon who was a pretty handy bowler for us.

“And we lost Brad Mitchell to work committments. 

“We had plenty of players knocking on the door from second grade, really pushing our first graders towards the end of last year so two of those fellas will come in and no doubt do their job.

“We've gained Ben Gleeson from Hillgrove, a handy wicketkeeper-batsman. We are not too worried about other team's lineups as such. We are just worried about ourselves and how we get ready for each game.”

Elliot said the success of the side at the back-end of last season has set the bar high for the current playing group. 

“There was a lot to take out of last season, like being able to beat Hillgrove and match it with Easts, despite the weather,” he said. 

“A lot of positives there. 

“We just have to build on that as a team and as a club.

“We have to set an example for our lower grades.