Stoneywood-Dyce player-coach Jan Stander has urged his side to show no fear when they travel to Eastern Premier leaders Grange tomorrow.
Grange are one of only two sides to boast a 100% record after three games and while respectful of the quality of their opponents Standers has urged his team to enjoy their outing.
He said: “Grange is always a challenge. They have always had depth and are there or thereabouts when it comes to the title. They’ve lost some key players in Oli Hairs and George Munsey while Neil McCallum and Preston Mommsen don’t play as much as they used to but they still have some very good up and coming players.
“We back ourselves in any game though. It looks like it is going to be an open league this year and there are a lot of even teams in the division so it will come down to who performs best on any given day.
“We’ve always said our aim is to try to win 80% of our home games and 20 to 30% of our away games. That’s the type of team we are and we know what we need to do over the course of a season.
“We’ll have Leonard Bester available again this weekend after his impressive 84 not out in his first league game two weeks ago while Shaun Coetzer, who played his first game in a while last week and George Ninan will also be available.
“We’ve got a fairly settled team at the moment and it’s just a case of executing our skills properly. If we do that we’ll be happy.
“It’s always nice to play at the Grange, but maybe not so much for the bowlers at times. It’s important our batsmen express themselves this weekend.”
Stander is not concerned at his side’s failure to build on their opening day win against Meigle after two defeats in a row.
Having missed the entire season due to Covid last summer he believes the opportunity to simply be back outside playing matches is far more important and has been quick to remind the Stoneywood-Dyce players of that.
He said: “My dad says a bad day at the golf course is better than a good day in the office and I’ve been using that analogy with the players. A bad day’s cricket is better than sitting in the house during lockdown.
“Most teams are playing without overseas professionals this year due to Covid but I think the last 15 months have really put everything into perspective. After missing last season it’s just nice to be out playing cricket again.”
Stander’s side face a league and cup double-header this weekend with tomorrow’s game followed by a Scottish Cup round tie at Clydesdale.
Stander said: “I’m not sure how much cricket Clydesdale will have had being in level three but we know we’ll have to play well to go through. It’s important we don’t look past Saturday’s game though.”