WILLETTON Cricket Club coach Aaron Harwood said they had no hesitation in making Cam Bancroft their new captain.
Bancroft has returned to the club for this year’s Premier Cricket season.
He will captain the side until his Cricket Australia-enforced ban for his role in the Australian Test side’s ball-tampering saga ends on December 29.
Harwood praised Bancroft’s professionalism and work ethic and said he had been a superb role model.
“Cam has been terrific, he’s done a full pre-season and shown tremendous leadership, driving the pre-season program and developing a hard-working culture,” he said.
“His presence is allowing some guys to build confidence and give them opportunity to learn off him while we have got him.”
Harwood said Bancroft was their first choice to replace outgoing captain Matthew Johnson and they did not hesitate to pull the trigger.
“As soon as he indicated he was keen, we were keen to give it to him, we thought he would’ve preferred to develop his own game with a look at breaking back in, but he indicated straight away he wanted to captain the side,” he said.
“He’s really enjoying it, there could have been a case for him to fly under radar, get what he needed to get done, but he’s taken the opposite approach by leading the pre-season and mentoring young players.
“He’s the same Cam we’ve always known.”
Willetton came close to Premier Cricket glory last year, finishing second in the league before bowing out in the semi-final and Harwood said the club had once more set their sights on silverware.
“We want to be quite competitive, break goals down into shorter term goals, we’re in three competitions and are keen to do well in all three of those,” he said.
“We have played consistent finals cricket over five years without winning, we want to be in a position to be competing at the end of season.”
Star bowlers Matthew Hanna and Kallen Bond have returned for the Dragons, as has Warwickshire import Will Rhodes and while they have lost Johnson, Harwood was confident they had all the tools needed to compete.
“We’ve got a reasonable squad again, access to Cam Bancroft for the first half of the season and a few other state WACA contracted players so we will look to make the most of that,” he said.