We might be at the start of a cold winter, but the region’s top cricket club is already planning for the start of next season in September.
After a season to forget, the Ghosts – Campbelltown Camden District Cricket Club – this week announced the signing of two prominent Sydney first grade players for the 2017/18 season and a senior coach.
Jarrad Burke and Phillip Wells will join a youthful Ghosts squad in both playing and mentoring roles, with the aim to assist the club’s player development program.
Jarrad, a Ghosts junior, former Australian U19, NSW Youth Captain and NSW squad member, returns home as first grade captain.
He will also spend time at the club’s academy to help develop the Macarthur region’s rising young stars.
Jarrad has played in the last four Sydney Cricket Association grand finals as a captain, scoring a century in last year’s season climax.
He previously played seven seasons for the Ghosts, rising from Green Shield to first grade, before moving to greener pastures.
Phillip Wells, a NSW Country Cricket product, former state squad member from Nowra and Australian Under 19 player, will strengthen the club’s batting this coming season with his vast experience, having racked up nearly 10,000 runs in first grade.
He has an amazing aggregate of more than 1,000 runs for each of the last three seasons.
Wells, pictured at left, will also work as a batting mentor within the grade club and assist with academy programs.
The third new face next summer will be former English first class cricketer Jeff Cook, who will be the Ghosts men’s cricket performance director.
Cook is expected to play a major part in rebuilding the club, and the management of players, as they travel the pathway from club to representative cricket.
A professional cricket player, Cook played primarily for Northamptonshire (144 matches).
Cook will work in tandem with Ghosts head coach Graeme Smith and women’s head coach Steve Davies to form arguably one of the strongest club coaching teams in Australia.
“We are extremely pleased to have all three on board,’’ said Graeme Smith.
“Jarad and Phillip will provide us with batting stability and experience that is invaluable, and will be of huge benefit to our club.
“Jeff also adds over a decade’s worth of experience at the first-class level, and is assisting in the restructure and redevelopment of the club’s programs.
“The club is extremely excited about the upcoming season,” Smith said.