By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
HAVING reached the final stages of the SCG Country Cup for the first time in the Association's history, Coffs Harbour cricketers will be working hard to try go even further in the competition next week.
On Tuesday, Coffs Harbour's best will take on the formidable Lake Illawarra team on the first day of the three day knockout tournament in Dubbo.
Having spent so many years just trying to qualify for the knockout finals, captain Todd Gill doesn't want his team's winning run so far this season to end on the first day there.
"It's a long way to travel just to lose so we'll be trying hard to get some wins," he said.
"Obviously in Dubbo they're batting friendly decks so to win our batsman need to get in and get set while our bowlers just need to bowl the right lines."
One thing the Coffs Harbour team must overcome on Tuesday that they haven't needed to before is knowing absolutely nothing about their opposition.
"That will make it hard but it will also be easier in a way," Gill added.
"We've got Lake Illawarra first up and we know that they've got a very strong batting line-up and a couple of country players in their team."
As the captain of the team, the Sawtell batsman is feeling some of the pressure that his role can create after being given the mantle of captaincy in the absence of Daryl Parmenter who will be missing due to a serious shoulder injury.
Association President Ken Robinson said at a team meeting that he believes Gill will handle the role with aplomb.
"There's no worries with Todd's captaincy, you only have to look at the job he's doing at Sawtell," he continued.
"He's created a winning culture at that club and there's a winning culture in this team as well."
SCG Country Cup squad: Todd Gill (c), Ben Andrews, Ben Davis, Glen Johnson (Sawtell), Jordan Moran (Bellingen-Dorrigo), Brad Guthrie, Pat Martin, Joe Mennie (Diggers Ex-Services), Peter Bayley, Hugh Campbell, Mickey Lawrence (Coffs Hotel Tigers), Damien Elks (Nana Glen).