By Simon McEvoy
Frankston Standard Leader
July 18, 2019
The former champion paceman says he “never, ever” thought he would one day be president of Frankston Peninsula.
Cameron Wallace bowled his heart out for Frankston Peninsula during a 10-year career that yielded 236 First XI wickets in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Now, at 47, he is set to return to the Heat — as club president, and successor to Dennis Prendergast.
Wallace is Frankston Peninsula president-elect ahead of the club’s annual general meeting on July 31.
He will become only the club’s third president in its 26-year history, following on from the late Bill Foley and Prendergast, who stepped down after 19 seasons in the role.
Wallace said he “never, ever” thought he would one day be president of Frankston Peninsula during his playing days as a champion Heat paceman.
“Never. I just loved playing cricket,” he said.
“I’ve never been involved in an off field capacity at any cricket club so it’s all foreign to me but the opportunity presented and I thought why not, I may as well do it now.”
Wallace played in Frankston Peninsula’s first premiership, the seconds flag of 1996-97, before making his mark as one of the best fast bowlers in Premier Cricket.
He and fellow paceman Darren Groves formed a potent new ball attack that helped the Heat to its most successful era, including a grand final appearance in 2000-01.
In 2013, Wallace was named in Frankston Peninsula’s team of the first 20 years.
He acknowledges he has big shoes to fill, taking over from a legend of Frankston cricket, Prendergast.
“One of the things that swayed me to consider it more seriously was when Dennis said that he was staying on board in terms of being a member of the committee and not just handing over the presidency and walking away altogether,” Wallace said.
“So the fact that he’s going to still be within the committee, and obviously he has all that experience, will make the transition a bit easier I would imagine. Well, that’s the plan.
“He (Prendergast) has got the networks already established. I’ll tap into those.”
Wallace said he was approached by Heat officials a few months ago and asked to consider becoming president after Prendergast announced he was stepping down.
“It’s been a fairly quick thing to be honest,” he said.
Wallace said he would like other former Frankston Peninsula players to come back to the club and help the Heat achieve that elusive top-grade flag.
“That’s the idea, get people back who haven’t been in touch with the club since they’ve finished,” he said.
Prendergast said Wallace was the ideal person to lead the club into the future.
“Absolutely. It’s exciting to have a former player and a person who has grown up in Peninsula sport as well, so he knows the whole concept and modelling of our club,” Prendergast said.
“He has good community links and is a popular sort of character around the traps. He’s got really good people management skills, gets on with most people so that’s a big part of it all.”