APRIL Edwards is Mailors Flat Cricket Club’s president. It’s a big role for the 19-year-old, who goes Under the Auld Pump with TIM AULD ahead of the Grassmere Cricket Association season.
April, the effort by Chris Woodbridge to snare 10 wickets for Mailors Flat in one innings is a very impressive effort. Can you give us any more details about that performance?
Chris took five wickets for 57 runs on the first day of the Woolsthorpe game and ended up getting the final five wickets on the second day.
He also got a double hat-trick which is a remarkable feat in itself. It would have to rate as one of most amazing performances in local cricket.
The strange thing about the 10 wickets is our players dropped a few catches off his bowling before he got all the wickets.
Another point to be noted is Chris is not playing for us this season.
He’s gone on to play with (Warrnambool and District Cricket Association club) Merrivale.
It’s sad he’s gone to Merrivale but Chris wanted to play cricket at the higher level.
April, you’ve been the scorer at Mailors Flat Cricket Club for a few seasons and you were also the secretary of the club. Are you still the secretary of the club?
No. I’ve taken over as the president. I was the secretary for five years before I decided to put my hand up for the role as president.
April, by my calculations you’re just 19 years old. You would have to be one of the youngest presidents in local cricket. How did your involvement in the sport begin?
My dad Stephen and my brother Phillip both play cricket at Mailors Flat.
My parents had been involved in administrative roles with cricket clubs for many years.
My mum Jodi used to be the secretary of Mailors Flat before I took over the job and now I’m the president of the club.
I’ve also been the club scorer of the A grade side.
How many sides does Mailors Flat have playing in the Grassmere Cricket Association?
We’ve got A and B grade sides this season. The club plays its games out at Winslow as there’s no cricket ground at Mailors Flat.
We’ve lost a couple of players from last season but I’m confident we’ll go all right this season.
The Boyle brothers play for us – there’s Matthew, Daniel, Lachlan and Noah – and they are all handy players.
Shanaka Perumpuli plays for us. He used to be at Russells Creek but has played with us for five years. He’s a very good wicket-keeper and batsman.
We have picked up some handy players in the off-season.
We’re confident we’re going to be competitive but in saying that the competition looks to be pretty even, from reports from other clubs they have recruited pretty well in the off-season.
How does a small cricket club with two sides survive in this day and age?
Let’s just say it’s getting tougher. It’s not easy.
We’re very lucky to have some wonderful sponsors who understand how tough it is for smaller sporting clubs in the community.
Buying cricket gear and all the accessories to put two teams onto the ground can run into substantial dollars and that’s why it’s very important we have great sponsors.
There’s Macey’s Bistro who have been a great sponsor plus we’re lucky we’ve got the bingo machines in the Caramut Hotel and the Victoria Hotel in Warrnambool.
The club also stages some raffles during the year which help us get through.
What is the financial situation of the Mailors Flat Cricket Club like going into this season?
It’s better than what it used to be. I had said previously it’s tough for smaller sporting clubs to survive.
We’re confident the club is heading in the right direction but it’s only due to our sponsors.
How did your involvement with Mailors Flat Cricket Club begin?
My dad Stephen used to play cricket with Hexham many years ago but the club folded so Stephen was looking for a club to play for and one of his shearing workmates encouraged him to join Mailors Flat back in 2004.
He started off in the A grade but now plays in B grade while my brother Phillip plays in A grade.
I used to go and watch the games as mum was the scorer with Mailors Flat and then one day, it would be about nine years ago, the other side never had a scorer so I just started scoring and I’ve done it ever since.
Mailors Flat is a great family club and everyone enjoys the wonderful friendships that all the players and their partners share.
Have you been involved with any other sports?
I played netball for Caramut’s B grade side for a few years and I also coached its under 15 side but sadly I’ve never been connected with a winning premiership side.
April, can I ask you what you do for work?
No problems. I’m a wool handler. I’ve been in the shearing sheds since year 11 at school.
I finished school in October last year and went to the shearing sheds.
We work in the sheds around Caramut but will be heading across to Hamilton for a few days work before going back to Caramut.
My day starts in the shed at 7.30am and we finish at 5.30pm.
They’re long days but I enjoy the work.
My job entails picking up the fleeces from the floor and putting them on the table and skirting them, which means taking the rough edges off them.
We’ve just on finished shearing 2500 cross-bred sheep at the Caramut property.
The normal fleece can weigh between four to eight kilograms on the standard sheep but there are some cases when the fleece can be up to 10 kilograms.
It’s not the best job and not for everyone but the money is good.
I’ve started studying to be a wool classer. It’s a 12-month course but it’s something I really want to do.