NEWCASTLE City opening batsman Morgan Clune said the opportunity to advance his cricket, not the club’s poor performances, was behind his decision to join Sydney club Randwick-Petersham.
The 17-year-old will play his first match for Randwick on Saturday in third grade against Manly after finishing up with City on Sunday in their Newcastle District under-21 win over Waratah-Mayfield.
Randwick operations manager Bill Anderson showed interest in Clune at the start of the season.
‘‘They talked to me a bit before the start of the season and I said I’m just finishing high school and so we left it there,’’ the year 12 St Francis Xavier’s College student said.
‘‘Now the holidays are a week and a half away, they asked again and said, ‘What about now?’
‘‘I talked it over with Dad [John] and we decided it was an exciting thing to take up.’’
Clune’s departure will deplete an inexperienced City side who are without injured Dylan Hunter and Greg West and languishing at the bottom of the ladder.
Clune denied that any unhappiness with the club was behind his decision.
‘‘I’m excited to go and test myself in the big pool, but I’m also disappointed to leave City,’’ he said.
‘‘And the fact we’re in a bad spot at the moment and all the stuff [being a reason for leaving] is not true at all.’’
The former ACT Comets under-17 and NSW Country under-19 rep is confident his teammates can still improve.
‘‘We’ve got a lot of talent – nobody questions that at all,’’ he said. ‘‘Sometimes things don’t come together that well and that’s just how it is.’’
Meanwhile, long-serving City president Peter March stood down from his position on Monday evening citing work commitments.
Life member and vice-president Colin Tegg has stepped into March’s shoes.
‘‘He thought he should stay on until the Learmonth Park redevelopment was finished, and that’s pretty much done now,’’ Tegg said.
Tegg also confirmed that rookie captain Jesse Major would remain in charge of first grade.
Second-grade skipper John Hodgson was promoted to take pressure off Major in the outright loss to University over the last fortnight.
But Hodgson will return to seconds on Saturday against Western Suburbs.
‘‘He’s a young fellow – only 20 – and he’s probably got a bit to learn about tactics in cricket and how to manage the way the game goes itself,’’ Tegg said. ‘‘He’s still the captain and we have no intention of changing him.’’