OFF-SEASON signing Chris Russo says he is excited to be part of a “new beginning” at the Queanbeyan Cricket Club this year.
Russo is one of three new faces at Queanbeyan this season and along with fellow recruits Josh Corbett and Josh Connolly will be required to immediately step up following a host of off-season departures.
Primarily a middle order batsman, Russo spent the past four seasons at Tuggeranong. But the 21-year-old said the desire for a change of scenery had propelled his cross-border switch.
“I just wanted a new start really to help me enjoy my cricket again and since coming to Queanbeyan I’ve just been buzzing,” he said. “The way the other guys have been treating me, it’s like I’ve been here for 20 years already so it’s been good.”
Having lost the services of players the calibre of Dean Solway, Blake Dean and Mark Higgs from last year’s all-conquering side, Queanbeyan has looked primarily to its own junior ranks in order to rebuild.
A number of former fringe first graders in the likes of youngsters Mark Solway, Guy Gillespie, Alex Page and Lakshman Shivakkumar
look set to play a major role in the club’s 2012/13 campaign.
Russo admitted it had been surprising to see Queanbeyan undergo such a high turnover of players following the club’s premiership winning run last season.
But the Dubbo Blues junior said the departures would allow for something of a changing of the guard at Freebody Oval.
“It was a big shock to see a lot of guys go but there are a lot of good juniors here in Queanbeyan who now have the opportunity to step up to the plate,” Russo said. “I think it’s a bit of a new beginning for the Queanbeyan Cricket Club you could say.
“A young bloke like Lakshman, he didn’t get much of a go last year because the batting order was so settled but if you look at him now, he’s hitting the ball beautifully.
“I think this year there are going to be a lot of blokes like him taking their opportunities and it’s good to see.”
Last Saturday, Russo opened up his Bluebags account in fine style after notching 48 not out to help his new club to a comfortable seven-wicket win over North Canberra Gungahlin.
It was a solid opening weekend for Queanbeyan all-round after the club coasted to a seven-wicket victory against the ACT under-19s on Sunday.