By Nick Creely
Two of the region’s most highly-regarded cricketing figures, Craig Slocombe and Matthew Chasemore are set to head a DDCA junior cricket academy this season.
The pair have been appointed as the Junior Academy coaches, with the DDCA hoping to start its program in September despite the recent Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne.
Slocombe – a highly-regarded coach who has led the Under 21 VMCU group to great success – has recently joined Premier Cricket outfit Dandenong as a senior assistant coach after his role as the Pattinson Academy coach last season, and after a legendary career for Springvale South in the DDCA, will continue to bring the next generation of youngsters through the south-east after recently retiring from Turf 1 cricket.
Chasemore – aside from his feats as a champion Premier Cricket, Victorian Second XI player and reigning Turf 1 premiership captain with Berwick – also has an illustrious history from a coaching perspective, with a stint at Frankston Peninsula and has kick-started the Peninsula Cricket Academy with ex-state cricketer Jayde Herrick.
Chasemore has long been regarded as one of the most successful development coaches in Victoria after a long career where he has been considered as one of the most unlucky cricketers not to play First Class cricket.
The age group of academy will be under 12s, 14s, 16s, 18s and girls, which aligns with the recent move from the DDCA to even age groups for the upcoming season.
DDCA vice-president Steven Richards said that the association was thrilled to land two pretty synonymous names in south-east cricket after an independent selection panel received a large volume of applications and selected the pair as the best fit for the academy moving forward.
“The panel determined that Slocs and Cheeks were the best fit for what the DDCA are trying to achieve,” he told Star News Group.
“I have no doubt with the knowledge and skill set that both champions have they will greatly increase the development of the young kids in our association.
“We are very pleased with the dual announcements. We are extremely excited with these appointments and we are in great hands.”
With some of the region’s most talented young cricketers – which have been invited based on last year’s performances and representative experience – set to be benefit from the expertise of the champion pair, Richards said that the DDCA academy was an important part of maintaining the standard of cricket in the region, and hopes it can draw more juniors to the game.
“To be able to continue to develop the local talent over time we believe will draw attention to local players being recruited,” he said.
“We have felt that the standard of cricket in the region had been declining and especially at representative level.
“By creating this academy we are hoping that this will not only improve clubs’ juniors but also the DDCA at representative level.”