Grand final hero aiming for consistency at crease
CRICKET: He was the hero of Brothers' unlikely grand final victory last season, but now wicketkeeper Billy Kerr wants to get back to basics.
The opening batsman has spent a long winter in the nets to perfect his technique and is itching to get back on the field for Premier League action when Brothers meet Westlawn at Lower Fisher Park today.
Only two years ago, the wicketkeeper was named Clarence River Cricket Association Player of the Year after amassing 444 runs at an average of 40.36.
And he is ready to reclaim that form coming off the back of his dogged effort in last season's decider.
"I didn't have a bad season but I didn't do a whole lot, I just got lucky at the right time,” he said.
"Hopefully I do have a bit of a turnaround and can get stuck into the bowlers this year.
"I have had a few hits in the nets and everything is feeling pretty good. We're all just itching to get out there.”
There will be one thing very different about the opener this season and it comes in the form of a new DeadEye blade custom fitted to the left-handed hitter.
"The ball just pings off this thing, it is probably one of the best sticks I have ever played with,” he said.
"I spent a fair bit of time knocking it in, but I was a bit limited, I didn't want to wake up the neighbourhood. I just made sure it was short sharp bursts before I got a knock at the door from the cops.”
While Brothers will have a new-look side this season, missing six players from their grand final-winning outfit, Kerr said the side was still focused on securing back-to-back titles.
"Everyone is definitely on the same page,” he said.
"We have all been training hard and we're keen to make sure we sew up that premiership.
"It feels like we only just walked off the field from last year. With the celebrations, the off-season has just flown by and now we're back.”
While his first game back in the wicketkeeping gloves in night cricket was rather forgettable, he said it would not deter him from getting them back out.
"I think it is just a case of a bit of off-season rust still hanging about,” he said.
"It will take me a couple of weeks I reckon, but I'll keep them as long as they let me.”