VETERAN: Gympie stalwart Troy Ashton clobbers a delivery over cover in a one-day match for the Gold this year.
VETERAN: Gympie stalwart Troy Ashton clobbers a delivery over cover in a one-day match for the Gold this year. John McCutcheon

Gympie Veteran plays on

CRICKET: Veteran Gympie Gold XI quick Troy Ashton was seriously considering hanging up the spikes after this season.

A foundation player, Ashton has been a staple of the premiership winning side since its inception into the Sunshine Coast division 1 cricket competition.

But just as he was thinking his days in the Gold jersey were over, a semi-final loss to eventual winners, and perennial bogey side Caboolture, which ended his sides premiership defence, was enough to make the paceman reconsider.

"I can't finish on the note we finished on,” Ashton told the Gympie Times.

"I want to play.”

"Looking back, we really needed to win one of our first four matches outright.

"We had a lot of players out with rep commitments.

"We really just battled on in the first four games,” he said.

Ashton said defending their maiden premiership was always in the back of his mind and despite claiming T20 silverware, feels his side underachieved.

"The way we finished the year was strong,” Ashton said.

"We played solid in the short forms of the game but we had a full squad of players which made it easier.”

Ashton is confident the Gold will retain the majority of their 2016-2017 squad when competition resumes later this year, but warns changes need to made to the rep calendar in order to give all sides the best opportunity to start the year on the front foot.

"Rep cricket just killed us at the start of the year,” Ashton said.

"You can't tell blokes they can't go, but it kills the Gympie side.

"It is just a case of having the players.

"We set the platform for Noosa's revival this year when they beat us in the first game.

"We went from winning the premiership to a first up outright loss.”