WA Premier Cricket: Joondalup looks for fresh start

Joondalup will have a new look this season. Picture: file image
Joondalup will have a new look this season. Picture: file image

JOONDALUP, with a new coach on board, will look to start afresh in the upcoming WA Premier Cricket campaign after a tumultuous period of off-field matters last season.

Life member Mike Smith, who played for the club when it was known as North Perth, has taken the reins as the Centurions aim to go one better than their grand final loss in 2016-17.

The club had a false start in finding a new coach after signing former Subiaco Floreat mentor Don Reid, who left after about six weeks in the role.

The team replaced him with Smith last month.

In an uncharacteristic move for Joondalup, Smith said the club had not added any recruits over winter.

Instead, there would be opportunities for players from the lower grades and under-17s to establish themselves as senior players.

The club lost captain Michael Swart to retirement last year, while star wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis has signed a senior contract with WA.

A new skipper is yet to be decided.

“The on-field needs to rebuild as a result of the loss of those players,” Smith said.

“The club’s focus last year was to get the committee and off-field in order.

“This year, it’s the onfield.

“There’s a couple of opportunities that will open for the younger players.”

Smith has a strong grasp on the talent pool of youngsters, having coached junior cricket at the club in recent seasons.

He was setting himself for a player development year, so would consider a finals finish to the season a particularly successful result.

Given he was not involved with the senior side in 2016-17, he did not want to comment on its off-field dramas.

Most notable of those was the suspension of key bowlers Josh Anderson and Ty Hopes for making threatening phone calls to a rival player after a game.

But Smith was willing to comment on Joondalup’s approach to discipline as it builds towards its season-opener against University on October 7.

“We just recently had a session where 30 to 35 players undertook a workshop where they developed their own set of behaviours and responsibilities,” he said.

“They’ve bought into the process of what they expect from each other and they’ll be holding each other accountable. So from a discipline perspective, hopefully it’s self-monitored.”

Joondalup plays four one-day games before the two-day competition begins on October 28.