pic: Half the man he used to be: 1st XI skipper Tristan Rissik has gone slimline but still has a big appetite for wickets.
Fernhurst Cricket Club is back in the top division of the I'Anson league for the first time since 2003. It's a huge credit to the whole team but the man who has masterminded the resurgence in recent years is 1st XI skipper Tristan along with Club Captain Mike Allen, the only survivor from that Fernhurst team of 2003. We caught up with Tristan ahead of the 2019 campaign.
You said at the end of last season you needed to recruit a couple of new players for life in Division 1 so how has that gone?
Tristan: We’ve added two definite new players and we are working on another three possibilities. I'm hoping by the time we face Blackheath in the first game we’ve got three or four new faces. They’re not just numbers, they are quality cricketers who add dimensions to our batting line-up and give me options in bowling too.
What have you learned over the last few months about the Div 1 teams? Obviously it's exciting but is it also a bit daunting?
Yes, it’s definitely a little daunting as I’ve seen teams in the past go up and then go straight back down again. The trick is to win as many points as possible, go for bonus points if we are in losing positions and go for the jugular when we are on top! I think the other key thing I’ve learnt is that you need to have a good core of players so that when gents are on holiday we can cover. That’s where teams have come unstuck in past seasons as there are clubs with three or four teams so they have depth in numbers and the smaller clubs suffer. But, all in all, we are all excited and we are going to give it a good crack this season. I think we will surprise a few clubs with our raw talent and enthusiasm.
Opening batsman Mark Charman was one of your best players last year but may not play as much this year, is that right?
Yes, he’s one of the best and we won’t see much of him so, where there’s a gap, someone will fill in. I’m confident that one of the lads will be licking their lips at the chance to move up the order and I’ve already had guys putting their hands up to open the batting.
Tristan, word has it you are a different man. Are you now at your fighting weight and how is it benefiting your game?
I’ve lost three stone over the winter and am still working on losing another stone. I feel healthy and youthful and I’ve done quite a bit of bowling and my left knee is in no pain which is great. I also know that being fitter keeps you on the game longer too and, as captain, I need to concentrate from ball one to the end.
How confident are you that FCC can stay up?
Very confident. As I said we will surprise a few teams this season. We’ve had a good rest over the winter and I know the guys are hungry to do well. I’m excited and ready to put the mighty FCC on the map. I’m also going to need a smaller shirt!