Victorian Premier Cricket is expected to expand into the City of Hume next summer with the creation of the Greenvale Kangaroos.
Over the next month, the members of the North Melbourne and Greenvale cricket clubs are expected to ratify a merger between the two clubs that will signal the arrival of a new entity into the top-flight of Victorian cricket.
Supported by the Hume City Council, which will invest heavily into the arrangement, the Kangaroos will play out of Greenvale Recreation Reserve and recently appointed Steve Maddocks as its coach for the forthcoming season.
Premier Cricket Strategy and Development Manager Mike Ronchi said the competition was looking forward to featuring a Hume-based outfit.
"The relocation and partnership is a perfect fit to the Cricket Victoria strategy of ensuring Premier Cricket is, and continues to be, readily accessible across Melbourne, especially as the metropolitan area expands," Mr Ronchi said.
"The merger will no doubt attract and provide opportunities to players and volunteers who reside in the northern regional areas, who wouldn't otherwise be involved in Premier Cricket.
"It demonstrates great vision by North Melbourne to recognise the opportunity to partner up with Greenvale and Hume City Council to take its rich history and culture to a burgeoning region and remain connected with cricket north of Melbourne.
"The merge with a strong local club such as Greenvale brings with it the huge bonus of an immediate buy-in and ownership from the local and surrounding cricket communities and a direct involvement in the elite competition of Premier Cricket."
Boasting more than 150 years of history, North Melbourne President David Maddocks said the Kangaroos were looking forward to continuing their presence in Greenvale.
"The North Melbourne Cricket Club sees the move to Hume as a wonderful opportunity to ensure the long-term future of 'the Kangaroos', while preserving its proud history in Cricket Victoria's Premier competition," Mr Maddocks said.
"The merger with Greenvale Cricket Club, a very strong, respected and well-run local club, will create a formidable Premier club in outer metropolitan Melbourne's 'northern' growth corridor, offering young people residing in that area, for the first time, the opportunity to play cricket at Premier level within their own community club."
Greenvale President Bruce Kent acknowledged the new entity would be unique in its own right as it established itself in 2013-14.
"The merger with the North Melbourne Cricket Club will create a new club encompassing the Premier Cricket 'know how' and the long history of the Kangaroos and the excitement of the new and developing areas in the City of Hume," Mr Kent said.
"The merged club structure will see it field four Premier cricket teams (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th XIs), three VTCA turf teams, several Senior North West Melbourne Cricket Association synthetic teams, a full complement of junior teams and operate the Milo In2Cricket program.
"It will be a unique club with a unique atmosphere and will allow cricket to be played at any level."
The Hume City Council has played a key role in securing the partnership, agreeing to develop turf training facilities, as well as providing an additional oval and pavilion amongst its commitment.
The Kangaroos also boast plans to develop an indoor training facility in their future.
"Having the Greenvale Kangaroos in Hume will provide the opportunity for a young person who may start out in cricket at under 10's or 12's the opportunity to go through from this junior level to eventually play cricket for Victoria and then Australia," Hume City Council Mayor Geoff Porter said.
"The development of this new club and the subsequent upgrade of the facilities at Greenvale Recreation Reserve to meet the standards required for a Premier League team will ensure that young people in Hume will have access to the best training and playing facilities.
"The works will include an upgrade of practice facilities, both turf and synthetic, relevant machinery to support the preparation of Premier League standard turf pitches, extended social area, new scoreboard, storage facilities, and sight screens."
The North Melbourne and Greenvale cricket clubs are expected to vote on the proposed merger by early August.
02 JULY, 2013|Richard Goodbody | Premier Cricket