Captain happy to lead new team

Carisbrook-Dunedin/Kaikorai captain Jeremy Smith relaxes Before practice at Tonga Park on...
Carisbrook-Dunedin/Kaikorai captain Jeremy Smith relaxes Before practice at Tonga Park on Thursday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Dunedin club cricket is u
nder way today and a new team will make its debut in the premier grade. Sports writer Adrian Seconi reports.


No arm wrestle required - Jeremy Smith assumed the captaincy of club cricket’s newest team without a struggle.

The 24-year-old all-rounder will lead the combined Carisbrook-Dunedin/Kaikorai side this summer.

The two clubs have combined their top two teams on a trial basis and will open their campaign with a match against the defending Bing Harris champion North East Valley at Tonga Park No2 today.

Both clubs are still working through the details of how the merge is going to work.

But they have got a working name — Demon Dogs — and have appointed a captain.

North Otago Hawke Cup representative Smith will take on the role.

"It was one of the easier things to decide on," he said.

"With Rhys Bayly and Matt Hunter not around this season, and our captain from last season, Taine Bayly, heading up to Wellington, I was put in charge of the Kaikorai team.

"And I don’t think Kurt Johnston from Carisbrook, who did it last year, actually enjoys captaining that much. Plus he has quite a bit on his plate as well with Otago A and everything like that."

Smith, whose brother, Nathan Smith, plays for the Volts, has captained North Otago age group sides but has generally focused on his role as an all-rounder.

Smith sees himself as a batsman who bowls a bit and he loves to get up the order and play a few shots.

He has a fondness for short bowling and he is not afraid to go after the spinners.

As for whether the right-armer will call on himself to bowl many overs this season, that remains to been seen.

"We’ve got some pretty good seamers so I’ll slot into that fifth seamers’ role."

Johnston and Mason James will be expected to take their share of the wickets, while with the bat Smith is hoping Kurtis Weeks will have a big summer.

Otago player Josh Finnie is sticking to white ball cricket this season, so he will be around for more games and should be among the runs as well.

Smith said the target was to win the Bing Harris Shield but today’s game would help set down a marker.

"Hopefully, we’ll be quite strong but then we are a young team. I think Richard Sillars is the oldest at 28 and I’m probably the next oldest at 24."

Green Island will want to turn around a series of close losses last season.

Former player Dion Lobb is coaching this year and he took roughly a million wickets for the Swamp Rats.

He is the right man to help rebuild the dynasty and will lean on players such as top order batsman Gregor Croudis to drive the team forward.

Albion finished the season strongly and will want to pick up where it left off.

The Eagles have a good core of players returning and have collected a couple of promising players, including Dutch international Max O’Dowd.

Taieri played superb limited-overs cricket but struggled in the declaration competition.

Improving its performance in that format is the priority.

North East Valley has the title and will want to keep it. Llew Johnson is fresh from scoring a century for Otago A and will be looking to push his claims for a spot in the Volts.

New Zealand indoor cricket representative Corey Perrett took 34 wickets last season and is another key cog.

University-Grange has struggled to compete since returning to the grade two seasons ago. But they have some very decent help on the sidelines.

Former Otago bowlers Jimmy McMillan and Warren McSkimming join Andrew Hore in a knowledgeable coaching team.

Dunedin senior club squads

North East Valley
Placing 2019-20: Champion
Gains: Toby Beale, Hugo Hill, Jarrod McKay.
Losses: Sam Tallott.
Squad: Fraser Bartholemew, Toby Beale, Neil Broom, Nic Brosnahan, Jacob Day, Blair 
Donaldson,Tom Griffin, Kyle Hastie, Hugo Hill, Charlie Holt, Louis Holt, Llew Johnson, 
Hayden Johnston, Sam Johnston, Hunter Kindley, Will Kindley (c), Anaru Kitchen, Jarrod 
McKay, Travis Muller, Thorn Parkes, Corey Perrett, Michael Rae, Declan Su’a.
Placing 2019-20: 2nd
Gains: Ben Blackman, Luke Buxton, Max O’Dowd, Conor Rodden.
Losses: Sam  Angus, Craig Baldry, Jack Coman.
Squad: Matthew Bacon, Ben Blackman, James Brown, Richard Buchanan, Luke Buxton,
Tommy Clout, Dominic Crombie, Taylor
Cumberland, Josh Cuttance, Tim Ford, Josh Tasman-Jones (c), Angus
McKenzie, Max O’Dowd, Liam O’Brien, Connor Rodden, Hamish Rutherford, Jesse 
Simpson, Sam Wells, Matt West.
Placing 2019-20: 3rd
Gains: Nathan McNichol, Shannon Young.
Squad: Tom Dempster, Riley Dixon, Callum Egen, Regan Flaws, Bradley Frost, Marcus 
Frost, Cam Jackson, Ben Lockrose (c), Nathan McNichol, Tom Myles, Dale Phillips, 
Shishan Saweeja, Beckham Wheeler-Greenall, Shannon Young.
Green Island
Placing 2019-20: 4th
Gains: Max Meffan, Keegan Russell, Ryan Whelan.
Losses: Mark Joyce.
Squad: Regan Cairns, Tony Cardno, Ethan Childs, Gregor Croudis, Josh Kellet, Nick Kelly, 
Brad Kneebone (c), Jamie MacDonald, Joel Meade, Max Meffan, Jack Mockford, Jed 
Mockford, Nick Parata, Keegan Russell, Geordie Scott, Casey Short, Blair Soper, Christi 
Viljoen, Ryan Whelan, Ben Willemsen.
Placing: Kaikorai 5th/Carisbrook-Dunedin 6th
Losses: Matt Hunter, Rhys Bayly, Ryan Whelan.
Squad: Pat Arnold, Josh Bates, Taine Bayly, Anjas Bhogal, Vinay Chandrappa, Max Chu, 
Jacob Duffy, Fergus Ellis, Josh Finnie, Matthew Fisher, Jordan Gain, Nathan Hastie, Cam 
Hawkins, Mason James, Hudson James-Everton, Sam James-Everton, Kurt Johnston, 
Jack Pryde, Mitch Renwick, Michael Rippon, Liam Ryan, Ben Seavill, Richard Sillars, 
Jeremy Smith (c), Nathan Smith,Will St John, Kurtis Weeks.
Placing 2019-20: Last
Gains: Muhummad Jawad
Squad: Harrison Biggs, Xavier Chisolm, Jacob Cumming, Sam Downing, Cameron Elliott, 
Sam Edlund, Dhvanil Gandhi, Benedict Hardie, Ben Hatton, Andrew Hore, Muhummad 
Jawad,Venkat Kotte, Ollie Louden, Stephen Markham (c), Seth Mawhinney, Usman Shah, 
Pradesh Soobramoney.
* Names supplied by Otago Cricket

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