JOONDALUP will look to farewell two club stalwarts in the best manner possible with a WA Premier Cricket grand final victory this weekend.
As the side prepares to take on Subiaco Floreat at the WACA Ground, senior duo James Boyland and Michael Swart have announced it will be their last game as Centurions.
After a combined 400 first grade matches, 29 five-wicket hauls and 16 centuries, the stalwarts will likely give club cricket away, with plenty of flags and individual honours between them.
Joondalup captain Swart, 34, cannot speak highly enough of his teammate, with his captain-coach role made remarkably easier courtesy of having the bowling experience of Boyland at his disposal.
“Five hundred wickets, you can’t just replace that overnight,” Swart says.
“He has been a legend of our club and the best club cricketer I have played with.
“What makes him so good is he knows when it is a big occasion; he knows when to step up.
“Every time the pressure is on, he is the man I throw the ball to.
“Losing someone of that calibre would be a huge loss for the club.”
Former WA and Netherlands batsman Swart believes winning this weekend would be the perfect way to exit First Grade cricket, remembering the difficult times to begin his career.
“Going out in a final would be the icing on the cake for myself and Jimmy,” he explains.
“A lot of years ago we started there and used to get thrashed, it wasn’t a nice feeling.
“To go out winning one would be a special way to go for both of us.”
Leaving Joondalup will be a challenging experience for the players, with the majority of their lives spent at Iluka Sports Complex.
“That club is my life, there is no other way to say it,” Swart reflects.
“We train twice a week, play there on weekends, socialize with mates and best friends; we go there most nights of the week.
“It isn’t a club to me, it is a home and when it does finish it will be quite hard to leave the place.”
Play commences from 10.30am on Saturday.