New Hoppers Crossing coach Simon Lambert said the challenge of helping the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association team rise up the table was exactly what he was after.
Lambert was last week named the club’s new captain-coach and the role was one that stood out to him when he was looking at this cricketing future.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity for me and certainly something I wanted to do moving forward,” he said.
“I’m keen to go a long way with my coaching and it’s a good opportunity to launch my coaching career and I don’t see a better opportunity to get the ball rolling.”
Lambert crosses to the Cats from Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division side St Albans.
He spent six seasons with the Saints and played a major role in their 2019-20 premiership. The Englishman also spent on season at St Bernards, which is now in the VSDCA competition.
Last season he made 532 runs at an average of 44.33 and finished second in the VTCA senior division best and fairest award.
He was also heavily involved with the coaching side of things with the junior part of the club.
“I’ve been around at the junior level with St Albans and we won about five flags in juniors during that time,” he said.
“I’ve loved every minute of it and I can’t thank St Albans enough for everything. Now I want to do senior coaching and somewhere that’s new and fresh.
“It’s about a new challenge and a new competition.
Lambert said he had followed the Subbies competition the last few years and was familiar with a lot of the sides and players.
He said he was looking forward to playing on some of the grounds in the competition, saying they were of a better standard than the VTCA.
The Cats finished the 2021-22 season in 11th spot, with six wins for the season.
Lambert said the aim was to help the side rise up the ladder.
“Taking on a coaching role at a big club like Hoppers, I don’t see a better starting point.
“It’s a pretty big club and has not achieved the success they would have liked in recent times.
“They have untouched potential at the club. The aim is to make finals next year and improve going forward to win a flag and we are in the mix for a club championship.
“There’s lots of potential for the club to grow.”
Lambert said they were talking to few possible recruits, with the side looking to add another batter and a bowler.
The core group from last season is returning as well.
“There’s plenty of talent there,” he said. “We need an extra percent out of all the individuals and I don’t think we should be too far off from finals.
“Fielding is one area we will be working on. We want to make sure we are one of the best fielding teams in the competition.