Michael Spaseski needed a fresh start – and where better to go than back where it all started.
Spaseski has made a long-awaited return to Queanbeyan, desperate to rekindle an era of Bluebags dominance after spending five years at Eastlake.
The star batsman has been lured home to his junior club as Queanbeyan look to return to the Cricket ACT Regional Twenty20 Cup finals.
And wouldn't you know it, his first game back in Queanbeyan colours was against Eastlake – where he played a starring role to gift the Bluebags a five-wicket victory at Neil Bulger Oval on Saturday morning.
Spaseski scored an unbeaten 34* (37) and claimed one scalp with the ball to topple his former club and put the Bluebags on course for a return to the finals.
"I saw the draw and I saw Eastlake straight up, but it was fine," Spaseski laughed.
"I was after something different and I thought there was probably no better place to come back than where I started. It was just something fresh, nothing major, just a simple change.
"[I had] five years at Eastlake and we made good progress over there, but I was just after a change and a freshen up. That was the reason behind the move.
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"I enjoyed my time at Eastlake, a good bunch of guys, I have a lot of close mates still there. Like I said before, there was no real major reason for leaving.
"I just wanted something different at the time. I wanted to change it up and keep expanding on my own game, so no harsh feelings there whatsoever."
The ACT Comets batsman has linked up with of old teammates Vele Dukoski – who Spaseski jokes is "quietly happy" about his old mate's return, Dean Solway and Adam Heading.
After Queanbeyan spent a year in the finals wilderness, Spaseski was handed the captaincy and he is adamant "big things" are coming this season.
"There's a lot of young, promising kids coming through which is really good," Spaseski said.
"It gives you something to work towards so big things expected for the year. [We'll] just keep improving and see where it takes us."
The 27-year-old couldn't replicate his form in round two against Tuggeranong after he was dismissed for one, but it mattered little as Queanbeyan picked up a 29-run win.
It puts the Bluebags in the box seat to secure a home semi-final leading into their third round clash with Weston Creek Molonglo on Sunday morning.
Weston Creek Molonglo's title defence was dealt an early blow when they lost to Tuggeranong – who finished the day with one win and one loss.
But they bounced back thanks to a mammoth partnership from Jono and Blake Dean against winless Eastlake, with the latter brother playing both left and right-handed.
Wests-UC thrashed North Canberra-Gungahlin by nine wickets while Ginninderra had a day to forget, dropping games to Norths and ANU.
Round three takes place on Sunday morning, with the top two sides from each pool advancing to next week's semi-finals.
CRICKET ACT REGIONAL TWENTY20 CUP
Sunday — round three: ANU v North Canberra-Gungahlin at ANU North Oval; Wests-UC v Ginninderra at Jamison Oval; Eastlake v Tuggeranong at Kingston Oval; Weston Creek Molonglo v Queanbeyan at Stirling Oval. All games at 10am.