The Sydney Grade competition for 2014-15 was yesterday launched at the picturesque Coogee Oval, with representatives from the NSW Blues combining with McDonald’s to kick off the season.
Josh Hazlewood (St George), Stephen O’Keefe (Manly) and Peter Nevill (Easts), took part in a high catching competition with Ronald McDonald to officially launch what is expected to be another exciting season, in addition to running a clinic with local junior cricketers.
With McDonald’s on board as the Major Sponsor of Sydney Grade cricket, the competition will be as fierce as ever amongst the 20 clubs, with Sydney University looking to defend their First Grade crown and Club Championship, while Northern District will hope to secure back-to-back one day titles.
The off-season has seen a number of player movements with the most prominent being NSW Blues opening batsman Nic Maddinson, who has switched clubs from Sutherland to Eastern Suburbs, while former Blues squad members Nic Bills and Jay Lenton have left North Sydney for Manly. On the coaching front former Blues batsman Marty Haywood will leave Mosman to take on the coaching duties with North Sydney.
The season will kick off with reigning premiers Sydney University taking on the talented Manly-Warringah side at Manly Oval.
The majority of the NSW Blues squad will take part in day one of the competition on Saturday (full list out later today).
The first round of this season’s Sydney First Grade competition also marks the centenary of Victor Trumper’s last century at any level.
Round One fixtures are:
Bankstown v Northern District
Blacktown v Hawkesbury
Fairfield-Liverpool v Sutherland
Manly-Warringah v Sydney University
Mosman v Gordon
Parramatta v Eastern Suburbs
Penrith v North Sydney
Randwick Petersham v Campbelltown-Camden
St George v UNSW
Western Suburbs v Sydney
This summer’s Club Championship will again be decided on results from the First Grade to Fifth Grade competitions, First Grade Limited Overs, the Poidevin Gray Shield (U/21) and AW Green Shield (U/16).
McDonald’s NSW Marketing Manager Jeremy Nance was excited about the season ahead:
“We are looking forward to this exciting partnership with Cricket NSW and hope that together we can break the registration record this season. By joining forces, we hope to encourage more kids to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, and consider giving cricket a go,” said Nance
“McDonald’s values the development of important life skills such as teamwork and sportsmanship. Through our sponsorship of Cricket NSW, we hope to increase participation in one of the great Australian sports by engaging with players as well as funding equipment and facilities.”
Sydney Cricket Association Chairman, Andrew Falk, said he was expecting another exciting summer of action from the Sydney Grade competition.
“For so many years the Sydney Grade competition has been the launching pad for some of Australia’s finest cricketers. We pride ourselves on the strength and depth of this competition and we are looking forward to some tough battles throughout all the Grades,” he said.
“The competition continues to provide tough cricket that is good preparation for the next level and I am sure that this year will be no exception.”
“For more information about the Sydney Grade competition, including draws, results, tables and statistics visit www.sydneygrade.nsw.cricket.com.au.