MATT Willis has been a mainstay for Redbacks in the Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade competition, but he has confirmed season 2017-18 will be his last.
In his time with Bathurst City, Willis has not only acted as captain for numerous seasons, but been vice president, head selector and secretary.
On top of his leadership skills, he has scored more than 2,000 runs over the last seven seasons and chipped in with 75 wickets.
“I'll get involved for one more year, give it the best and see how we go. I'm done now, but I don't want to leave the club high and dry, so I’ll play this season,” he said.
“We've got a few things in place and we've got a few really good, young kids coming through. Although it will be a little bit of sink or swim, I'll be there to help them for things.”
In his time with Redbacks Willis has endured his share of disappointing results and more recently experienced the joy of winning a premiership. He would love to add another title to that count this season.
"The biggest thing was just getting over being called chokers for about 10 years, that was the hardest part. But as soon as we got that one, we were all happy then and we've won three since,” he said.
"We'd love to get another crack again this year and be competitive.”
What will help Redbacks’ push for another title shot is that they have retained a bulk of the squad which beat Rugby Union in last season’s grand final. However, there will be one notable absentee.
"We've lost Michael Waldren and he's basically irreplaceable, he's a huge loss - 30 wickets and 600 runs,” Willis said.
"We've got Michael Tobin, he's come across from Rugby Union to play with us this year.
“He'll definitely fill that void as well as anyone can. He's a very aggressive batsman and he bowls fast too, he's probably not the calibre of Mikey, but he's a terrific bloke and a big player for us.”
Bathurst City will begin the new season by facing ORC at the Sportsground on Saturday.