New line-up for Perth Suns
Harris and Krstic to debut Franchise owner Bowls WA has announced a new look Perth Suns line-up with a focus on current form for the Australian Premier League which heads into a fourth season. The event televised live via Fox Sports from November 8-11 will once again be held at Pine Rivers in Queensland.
The Perth Suns have already built a strong following in the APL and after two semi-finals berths but came away disappointed to miss out on finals playoffs for the first time in APL03. WA Bowler of the Year Tom Mitchell is the only player to hold his spot in the team as inaugural Suns member Clive Adams and Matt Ellul have been replaced by Pieter Harris and Kristina Krstic.
Along with the team announcement Bowls WA has also signed a new three year franchise agreement to play in the APL which will also include a second series annually played in New Zealand.
Despite being without a major sponsor Bowls WA has shown great commitment to the APL having agreed to the new three year deal. Bowls WA CEO Ken Pride was particularly pleased that to see the Perth Suns were continuing in the competition.
“A three year agreement is great for us and the competition. The addition of the second series in NZ will see more bowls broadcast live and prize money in excess of $200,000 on offer. The APL has certainly lived up to its reputation as a fast paced game with plenty of excitement and we look forward to seeing what our team can do.
It was a difficult decision to replace two fine players in Clive Adams and Matt Ellul. I would especially like to acknowledge the efforts of Clive who has been with us since the start and not only played superbly but also been a great ambassador for the Suns and the APL. However I am sure Pieter and Kristina are capable replacements that will do the team proud. I encourage all our supporters to tune in to Fox Sports in November and get right behind the team in APL04.”
Pride added “We are disappointed not to have already signed a major sponsor for 2016, the APL offers a great promotional opportunity at a national level particularly now the event will host two competitions per year with the doubling of TV airtime.”
The selection of Krstic was a no-brainer with changes to APL rules requiring sides to fill their team with a minimum of one player of each gender. With Bowls WA keen to continue with local WA talent Krstic became the obvious choice given her recent Australia selection and exceptional form over the last twelve months which included an impressive Australia Sides Championships performance helping WA to a silver medal along with a brilliant win in the WA State Singles and some notable performances at the Australian Open.
The just turned 22yo Krstic has the bowling world at her feet and is already a dual World Champion having won the World Junior Singles and Pairs for Australia in 2015. After a silver medal in the Hong Kong Classic with Karen Murphy she has her sights on further Australian selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the APL Competition will surely prove a further opportunity to show her ability on the national stage.
“I was surprised but really excited to be selected as the first female to represent the Suns alongside Tom and Pieter. I’m really looking forward to the challenging style of competition and playing with and against the highest level of players. I know it will be a great experience and opportunity for me to learn from the best. “Said Krstic who was obviously over joyed with the announcement.
In somewhat of a contrast to Krstic the 45yo Pieter Harris is probably at the later stages of his elite bowling career but still has the passion to play at the top level. Having progressed from junior ranks in country Western Australia to be consistently amongst the top WA players for a long time Harris has a string of titles along with over 200 games of national experience for Western Australia. He is sure to bring some solid leadership and experience to the group along with his undoubted talent on the green. Harris has been in terrific form in 2016 which no doubt prompted his selection in the side. Most recently he was extremely impressive adding a second WA Champion of Champions title to his trophy cabinet after beating fellow Sun Tom Mitchell in the final.
“It’s an honour to be selected as part of the Suns team and to follow on from the great work previous members have done. I am really looking forward to teaming up with Tom and WA’s brightest star Kristina to hopefully give the Suns franchise their first APL title.” said Harris when asked about his selection in the side.
Wayne Turley remains as the Suns coach as is looking forward to the challenge once again.
“As disappointing as it is to not have Clive and Matt back I am thrilled to be working with two outstanding players in Pieter and Kristina. Along with Tom all three players bring something complementary to our side and our supporters can be rest assured we will be doing everything to win it this year. I am so keen to see us give it a big crack this year so get ready for some brilliant bowls.”
Further details on APL04 including television schedules will be made available on the Australian Premier League website in due course.
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