By MITCH RODD

IT has been a rapid ascent for Nichols Point’s Daniel Chapman to one of the leading all-rounders in the Sunraysia Cricket Association (SCA).

The 20-year-old’s continued rise has seen him named as the club’s First Division coach for the 2017/18 season.

As a teenager, Daniel was Nichols Point’s leading wicket-taker in their first two seasons in the SCA after crossing from the Red Cliffs Cricket Association. He was also named Sunraysia’s best player at the Melbourne Country Week Cricket Carnival in January.

Nichols Point begin their SCA campaign against Irymple at home tomorrow, and their young coach is bullish about his team’s prospects for the 2017/18 season.

“We have a completely re-structured side and we’ve added strength to our batting order, so hopefully we’ll perform even better this season,” Daniel said.

“I’ll play more of a role as coach during the week, but on game day I’ll still be able to concentrate on my own game.

“Once I found out I was going to be coach I thought to myself how can I change my role to best benefit the club. I think we’ve got the balance right for the year ahead.

“Last year was a real learning curve for the club. We’ve been a really young side for the past two years, and even though we’re young again, we’ve got further experience.

“I really want to help build the social atmosphere of the club, because I feel that if people are enjoying themselves off the field, that will translate to on-field as well.”

Daniel and fellow young gun Will Liddle were catalysts for the Pointers improved form last season, however some imports will help strengthen their batting order.

The club is buoyed by the return of import Kaushik Aphale, and new English import Glen Brisdon.

Aphale is back for his third season at the club, having made 912 runs and taken 33 wickets in his previous stint.

Brisdon, a wicketkeeper-batsman from Findon CC in West Sussex, was named his club’s First Division Player of the Year, scoring 623 runs and making 16 dismissals behind the stumps.

Despite his young age, Daniel felt he had the backing from club members as coach.

“Ever since I started playing I’ve always had an eye on coaching,” he said.

“I’ve been helping look after the junior program and have really enjoyed working with younger bowlers especially. We have a brilliant junior program here and I’m keen to have a more hands-on role in developing them.

“I’ve grown up here and I’d like to think I have the respect of the people at the club so I don’t think age will matter.”