PORT City Leagues Magpies will enter their 50th year as a club with a new captain.
23-year-old allrounder Kyle Bray has been handed the role after the withdrawal of last year’s captain Luke Jephcott and vice-captain Jesse Schmidt.
Bray was the logical choice to make the step up to the next level after being involved with the club all through junior cricket.
He missed last year’s grand final defeat to Wauchope with a broken ankle and is looking forward to returning with an additional leadership role.
“I’ll look to lead from the front and I’ve been playing first grade since I was 16,” he said.
Bray didn’t believe being awarded the captaincy would impact on his ability out on the field.
“All throughout the juniors I was captain along with the rep Mid-North Coast team so I don’t think anything will change too much,” he said.
Schmidt is expected to return around Christmas, but the team will welcome Craig McElroy back into the side.
“Jesse not being there leaves a hole because he was probably our best player last year,” Bray said.
“Craig played a few games for us last year so it will be good to get him back regularly.”
President Paul Byrne said Bray was a logical choice to fill the vacant captaincy role.
Kyle has been here since he was 14, has come through the grades and knows what's expected.
“Kyle has been here since he was 14 and has come through the grades, knows what our club is about and knows what is expected,” he said.
“He’s handy with the bat and supports the club socially.”
Byrne said Bray was given an insight into the captaincy when he tossed the coin at the Beechwood Sevens last year.
He will also bring some variety into their bowling attack.
“I prefer him as a bowler more so than a batsman because he hits the deck hard and bowls a tight line and length,” he said
“It was big to lose him in grand final week last week even though we probably over-achieved to be honest.”
Byrne said the main challenges for the Magpies were the usual suspects.
“Macquarie are always there and thereabouts and Wauchope won it last year,” he said.
“But if you’re looking for a team that could jump out of the ground, Pirates could be that team that surprises everyone because they’ve got a tall left-arm quick who’s just come to town from Tamworth.”
The season starts on October 8.