Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit squad announced
Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit have unveiled a new look squad for the forthcoming season with a number of changes made to the outfit which claimed a third successive WT20 title in January.
Departing the squad is the retired Clea Smith, along with fellow Australian representative Annie-Rose Maloney, who is pursuing her music career.
Laura Croft, Steph Townsend and Sarah Elliott, who is expecting a baby in October but is hoping to re-join the squad after Christmas, have also made way.
The leading wicket-taker in the Essteele Premier Firsts last season, Essendon Maribyrnong Park's Emma Kearney has received her first VicSpirit contract, a just reward for her 2011-12 campaign which saw her claim 26 wickets in 19 matches, including 3-28 in the Grand Final.
VicSpirit coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick said Kearney's form was too hard to ignore.
"Her performances for the past two years at club level have caught our eye and she has been named in the Team of the Year the past two seasons," Fitzpatrick said.
"She is still only young (22) and has plenty more developing to do.
"Annie has decided she wants to focus on her music career and see how far she can go with it... I'm sure we will see her around at our games while the plan is to have Sarah added to the squad after Christmas."
Kelly Applebee has been rewarded for a consistent 2011-12 season, which saw her clip 270 runs in 15 matches, with a contract.
All-rounder and Victorian Under-18 captain Anna Lanning has been upgraded from the rookie list to a full contract while two members of her representative side have been handed rookie contracts, Box Hill's Kate Dempsey and Dandenong's Alana King.
"Anna was an outstanding club performer this year and really made her name as one of the best all-rounders in the competition," Fitzpatrick said.
King impressed VicSpirit coaching staff when she played in some trial matches with the side prior to the 2011-12 season and that form continued with her club side when she took 14 wickets in 11 matches and with
Victoria in the Under-18 championships with another 12 wickets at an average of 15.58.
Nominated for the Cricket Victoria Future Star Award in the past two seasons, 17-year-old Dempsey's talent is well known by those that follow the Essteele Premier Firsts closely and with 492 runs for Box Hill and Victoria Under-18s last year her promotion was well earned.
"The two have been part of our youth development programs and we thought they would benefit from the increased intensity of the VicSprit squad," Fitzpatrick said.
"They are both really good kids who will add a bit of flair to our squad."
Kate Dempsey (rookie)
Alana King (rookie)
Kirsty Lamb (rookie)
Coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick
Assistant Coach Kent Hannam