Garness returns, but still doubts over team

St Michaels have been buoyed by the return of fast bowler Dave Garness for the 2016-17 season.
Nanjing Night Net

Dave Garness, pictured bowling for St Michaels in 2014, will be back at the Wagga club for the upcoming season.

Garness has returned to the club following a year in Cootamundra with Ex-Servicemans.

He can’t wait to get back involved in a higher standard of cricket.

“I am pretty keen to get back over and started,”Garness said.“I missed the competitiveness of it.

“I enjoy the boys at St Micks and while I enjoyed playing in Coota it wasn’t as strong as Wagga.”

Garnessis looking to help the team go on step further after they were beaten by Lake Albert in last season’s grand final.

Coach Ryan Forsyth expects he will be a big boost for the team’s bowling ranks.

“He decided to stay in Cootamundra last year with some family commitments he hadbut he is really excited and keen to come back, make an impact,” Forsyth said.

Doubt remains over the availability of Angus Le Lievre, who is weighing up a move to Canberra, after making a big impact in the second half of last season.

Forsyth believes Garness would be an ideal replacement in the bowling ranks ifLe Lievre doesn’t play.

“The fact that we have Dave would almost replaceAngus in terms of his bowling,” Forsyth said.

“In terms of his batting we’d just have to find a couple of bats to fill the void.”

With the seasondelayed dueto the wet weather, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding who will line up for last season’s grand finalists.

Chase Grintell has moved to South Wagga while Fraser Noack and Rhys Lloyd have both left with university commitments.

Another with uni commitments is Tom Byrnes, but he is expected to return.

“I am confident we will get him back,” Forsyth said.

“He is a junior and has really enjoyed his time here, particularly last year but first are foremost are his commitments in Sydney.

“He travels back for footy and it is a huge commitment for him.”

Despite uncertainty over the team,Forsyth is confident the Saints will once again be pushing their claims for the title.

With a number of changesthis year, Forsyth expects a fairly even competition.

“I reckon it will be a really even comp this year from what I’ve heard in terms of player movements,” he said.

“That is pretty exciting and the fact that the association has got together and revamped the draw, the Twenty20, which won’t be happening this year, the one-day final and the points system just makes it exciting.”

The club is yet to lock in a captain for the season, with James Elliott yet to commit to the role again.

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