Men's Season 2020/21 Preview

After a tough winter, cricket is once again upon us and the Bears players, coaches, committee and volunteers have been working feverishly to ensure a strong start to the season.

The draw

After a pair of trial matches against Randwick-Petersham last week, headlined by a Jack James century in first grade, first and second grade take on Easts this week. Third to fifth grade will kick off their seasons on October 31, with the Poidevin-Gray squad set for their first match on October 17 and the AW Green Shield squad on December 17.

North Sydney Oval is, by and large, being used for the WBBL in the first half of the season so last year’s lower grade ground of the year, Bon Andrews, and the runner-up in the same category, Tunks International Sports Park, will do the heavy lifting before Christmas.

The teams

First and second grade is filled with familiar faces for round 1, with two notable exceptions. Aiden Bariol takes the gloves for Justin Avendano’s first grade side, having joined the Bears from Sutherland in the off-season, and Brent Atherton bolsters the batting line-up, slotting nicely into the spot left by Ben Bryant’s departure. Glenn Aitken is at the helm of a strong, and very well-balanced, second grade unit that is a good mixture of highly-experienced cricketers, and up-and-coming players.

The coaches

The Bears’ coaching ranks are similarly stable. Gary Whitaker returns for his second season as Director of Coaching – Men, with Todd Harper, Ash Perrott and Ray Beattie all resuming their roles from last season as well. Olly Knight has stepped up and has already shown terrific leadership in his new role as Assistant Coach – Fielding and Lachlan Dodd and Fudge Atshan from UTS continue to provide superb Strength and Conditioning guidance. Jason Krejza has again taken the junior development lead and will coach Green Shield.

Follow the Bears

Keep an eye on the Bears’ twitter account for updates on match-days and the club will be launching a streaming service for home first grade contests from round 2 (more details will be provided closer to that date). You can also follow the scores on mycricket thanks to our superb scorers, Sarah Berman, Gemma Ashdown, David James, Jeff Vilensky and Lachlan Reynolds. Also, keep an eye out for our superb match-day photography from Tony Johnson, David James and Rod Campbell.

The club would love to see spectators at our games however we ask everyone to ensure they maintain appropriate social distancing and check in using the QR codes posted around our home venues.

Support our sponsors

The Bears are privileged to have Access RnD back on board as our main sponsor for 2020/21 and to continue our successful partnership with UTS. The Union Hotel, Hartford Partners and Lavender Ridge wines also continue their support of the club and all are hugely appreciated in these difficult times. A slew of player partners have also signed on during the off-season - get behind these businesses who are supporting your Bears.