St George captain Trent Copeland wants more of the same from Saints in 2016-17 Sydney Grade Cricket season

Trent Copeland

Trent Copeland

St George captain Trent Copeland is after one thing from his side this season – more of the same.

Saints face a tough start to their Sydney Grade Cricket campaign when they host reigning premiers Bankstown in a one-day match at Hurstville Oval on Saturday.

Bankstown downed St George by 134 runs in the semi-final last season before going on to beat Sydney in the grand final. St George enjoyed plenty of success last season, making the grand final of the one-day competition and the finals in the two-day and Twenty20 competitions.

And Copeland, a former Test quick, is hopeful his side will have another strong season – but wants to add some silverware this time around.

“Every time St George walk onto the park you expect to win,” he said.

Fire: Young quick Nathan Ellis took 46 wickets in 17 matches for Saints last season. Picture: John Veage

Fire: Young quick Nathan Ellis took 46 wickets in 17 matches for Saints last season. Picture: John Veage

“We’ve got a great culture and winning history. Even when we have brought in younger guys who haven’t proven themselves yet they buy into our culture and I’ve got no doubt we’ll be a finals team again and be pushing for some silverware.”

St George will need to rely on some new faces after losing some experienced personnel.

Former first class batsman Steve Cazzulino has retired, while Ashton May has joined Sydney University to pursue an opportunity with his medical career. Dubbo product Ben Patterson has joined the club from Hawkesbury while Saints have also picked up batsman Nick Watkins from North Sydney.

Copeland said while the losses of Cazzulino and May were heavy he was confident in the strength of the squad, which could still be bolstered by an English import.

Departed: Batsman Steve Cazzulino has retired. Picture: John Veage

Departed: Batsman Steve Cazzulino has retired. Picture: John Veage

“They’re two key players we’ve lost but we’ve added Ben who is a young guy from Dubbo who bowls with decent pace,” he said.

“And then Nick is an experienced first grader. We’ve got a couple of young guys in and around the first grade squad now who are ready to step up as well.”

Meanwhile, Sutherland host grand finalists Sydney at Glenn McGrath Oval.

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