Terang Express
Streamrollers lock in Steve O’Connor as skipper

NOORAT’S Steve O’Connor says the enjoyment he derived out of his first season as skipper helped him make the decision to take on the role once again.

The middle-order batsman will lead the Steamrollers South West Cricket (SWC) campaign in season 2020/21 after his side was one of the competition’s most improved outfits last year.

O’Connor helped the side rise up the ladder to finish fourth with six wins in one of the competition’s tighter years after Noorat received the wooden spoon in 2018/19.

The Steamrollers then produced a spirited display in the semi-final, pushing eventual premier Pomborneit to within six runs of a dream grand final berth.

O’Connor is looking forward to leading Noorat once again after enjoyed his first year in the role.

“We had some success around the club so hopefully we can continue to build on that with a few more kids coming through,” he said.

“Not only was it that (success I enjoyed), it was also the ability to get some enjoyment back to the club.

“We were going alright so there was more of a buzz around the club and that was probably as rewarding as anything.”

Ahead of his second season in charge, O’Connor said movement on the recruiting front would likely be limited due to COVID-19.

The Steamrollers are set to lose English import Rory Baker,  while the availability of all-rounder Luke Justin is currently up in the air and would depend on football commitments.

However, in a boost for O’Connor, top-order batsman Jacob Fishwick is set to play once again, while all-rounder Gus Bourke is also likely to don the whites for Noorat.

Fishwick was a hit for the Steamrollers in his debut season, blasting 363 runs at average of 60.5, while Bourke made 251 runs and took 15 wickets after relinqueshing the captaincy role.

O’Connor said the club was hoping to build on the momentum of season 2019/20, but admitted he was unsure how the competition would look as Victoria grapples with COVID-19.

“You always hope for that but every year you have to start again and it’s probably going to be different recruiting this year with COVID-19 I would imagine,” he said.