MUCH has changed since Mark Sharrad last represented Ipswich in the Webb Shield.
Just how much was highlighted by yesterday's drubbing at the hands of Gold Coast at Mark Marsh Oval.
After reaching 8-234, the defending champions bowled Ipswich out for 158.
For Sharrad, it served as a reality check.
"There's a lot of new faces," he said of his Ipswich teammates.
New faces and a different approach to the game from what Sharrad was used to.
When Sharrad last played, Ipswich were the dominant force in the competition.
Now the Pioneers trail competition heavyweights Toowoomba and Gold Coast.
Yet Ipswich went into the game optimistic after their opening round win over Tweed Heads.
Batting first in oppressive heat, Gold Coast began slowly but crucially kept wickets in hand for a late onslaught.
Craig Cumming was the pick of the Ipswich bowlers, claiming 3-35.
"They were very patient early on," Sharrad said.
"They waited and took their opportunities towards the end.
"In these one-dayers, if you keep wickets at the end, it means you can chance it a bit more."
Ipswich's run chase was in stark contrast.
Opener Tyrone De Silva was dismissed first ball of the innings while partner Travis Ilka lasted just five balls to be out for two.
The home team never recovered, with only middle order pair Lachlan Pfeffer (35) and Jason Cubit (44) offering meaningful resistance.
"They bowled good areas towards the end," Sharrad said.
"A couple of our players didn't apply themselves very well."
It was the lack of application that served to highlight to Sharrad the difference of the current Pioneers squad and the ones he was previously involved in.
"The biggest thing with both bat and ball is you've got to be consistent," the former Queensland Country representative said.
"Blokes like (former Pioneers) Brian May, Mick Sippel and Jason Richardson - to see them bat - they apply themselves with great technique.
"It was a little bit of a different feeling coming back.
"Before we were a pretty close-knit bunch and that showed on the field.
"We knew when to switch on and when to have a joke.
"The young fellas have got to get a bit of nous and play for each other.
"They're playing as one-outs at the moment.
"There doesn't seem to be any value on their wickets."
It wasn't all negative, however, with Sharrad praising the efforts of Laidley and Ipswich Logan player Jarrod Bichel and Cubit's knock.
"We just need to build a few more partnerships," Sharrad said.
"I thought we were in with a chance (to chase 234).
"Some of our blokes are quite good with the bat.
"But you need partnerships.
"They put doubt into the fielders' and bowlers' minds."
STATE OF PLAY
- Ipswich has one win and one loss from the opening two rounds of the Webb Shield, having beaten Tweed Heads and lost to Gold Coast.
- Round three is against Toowoomba on November 11.