By Lance Jenkinson
A familiar face will be at the helm of the Werribee Giants in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 2 next season.
The Giants have appointed home-grown John Curnow to help guide them back to the finals and beyond.
At 36 and with 24 years of service to the game, Curnow felt the next evolution in his baseball career was to become the club’s
“At some stage you’ve got to put your hand up,” Curnow said. “It certainly is an honour.
“I got to play all my junior baseball there and now I get a chance to step into the shoes of a few of the blokes I’ve looked up to who guided me through my junior career.”
Curnow has spent 21 of his years in baseball at Werribee. He left only for a brief three-year stint with the Newport Rams to play division 1 baseball.
But his heart is undoubtedly with the Giants.
“I’m basically at the club for life,” the Werribee resident said.
“You grow up there and as a junior you get to know all the older folks down there.
“Now they come down and have a drink at the bar and sort of tell you how good or bad you’re doing when they’re on the sidelines.
“It’s sort of like a family rolling over and over.”
Curnow has been entrusted with the task of getting Werribee over the finals hurdle.
The Giants have so often been in the thick of the action at the pointy end of the season only for their form to go pear-shaped at finals time.
Last season, the Giants just missed out on the finals, so they were at least spared the heartache of a finals exit.
Curnow will take a win-now approach to his coaching in the 2018-19 season.
If he can earn promotion with this playing group, it would make him immensely proud.
“I’ve got to see a lot of the these guys come through juniors up into the seniors as I was in the peak of my career,” Curnow said.
“Now they’re at the stage where I was and they look up to me, so I get the chance to guide them through their careers and it’s something really exciting to do. We’ve been up for a while in finals, though we missed out last year.
“With the new group of juniors coming through, it’s an exciting chance to get back up there this year and compete for a flag.”
Curnow is in talks with overseas imports.
He is targeting a two-way player who can churn out plenty of innings on the mound and produce with the bat.
Curnow offered a little bit of intrigue regarding acquisitions, saying he is on the verge of revealing a “little surprise” at shortstop this season.