After being within sight of an Australian Country Championship crown on debut last season Newcastle all-rounder Joseph Price wants to go all the way.
NSW Country fell fractionally short chasing a tournament-changing bonus-point victory and slipped from second to fifth on the overall standings in Mount Gambier earlier this year.
Now the Bush Blues head to Wollongong in January chasing their first title since 2012-2013 and Price, named in the squad this week, remains keen to make amends.
“We threw all our eggs in one basket and went after it pretty hard [last season] and it didn’t work out the way we wanted,” Price said.
“But that’s what you play for, you don’t go away to lose. And it’s what Cricket NSW wants. There’s a little plaque back on the wall at headquarters they put up if you win and country hasn’t had one for a few years. So there’s a bit of pressure on us to bring home the chocolates.”
The 33-year-old from Adamstown will be joined by fellow Bush Blues incumbent Nicholas Foster, recalled Patrick Darwen and rookie Wests teammate Thomas Allen. NSW Country gather for a training camp on January 1 before competition commences two days later.
All four players feature in an unchanged Newcastle Steel side, named on Tuesday, vying for the NSW Premier T20 Cup finals.
Following two wins at home on the weekend they travel to meet St George at Hurstville Oval on Sunday in the fourth and final round, needing victory to have any chance of progressing past the preliminary stages.
Steel pace pair Daniel Morton and Allen will undergo fitness tests this week after missing Sunday’s double header with injury. James King was 12th man.
NEWCASTLE STEEL: Mark Littlewood ©, Thomas Allen, Ray Cooper, Patrick Darwen, Mark Dries, Nicholas Foster, Jeffrey Goninan, James King, Daniel Morton, Joseph Price, James Rushford, Luke Stewart, Joshua Trappel, Sam Webber.