Sippel urges Laidley unit to maintain rage in title hunt

QUICK RETURN: Laidley run-scoring machine Mick Sippel makes his ground during last weekend’s Premier League match against Centrals. Sippel remained 117 not out.
QUICK RETURN: Laidley run-scoring machine Mick Sippel makes his ground during last weekend’s Premier League match against Centrals. Sippel remained 117 not out. Claudia Baxter

WITH one round of Premier League matches before the Christmas break, Laidley is on target for another minor premiership.

However, respected all-rounder Mick Sippel gave his competition-leading side plenty to ponder in the new year.

As Laidley prepares to play Swifts at Ivor Marsden today, Sippel warned his team to maintain the attitude it showed in last weekend's hard-fought win over title threats Centrals.

"We've hit our straps this year. We're in a really good position," Sippel said.

"We've probably got our best team on the paddock we've had for a couple of years.

"We've been hurting the last couple of years. We probably haven't had the right attitude to win a premiership.

"But that's a long way off. We're certainly no means going to win this one.

"The comp is pretty tight."

Fresh from his third century of the season, Sippel said recent results showed how competitive this season's Premier League is.

"We got a thumping by Northsiders (last month) and Centrals are certainly going to be in the mix," he said.

"We had Brothers the other day and they weren't at their best. They were missing a couple of key players so we were lucky that day.

"Any team in the top four can win because on their day, every team has probably got two or three good players, better than the average.

"If two of those, or one or two of them have a day out, they can beat any team."

Sippel said players like Northsiders' bowling spearhead Kev Cumming and Centrals' allrounder Ben O'Connell could single-handly turn a game.

"You've only got to scrape into the four to make the semis," Sippel said, reflecting on the 2013 finals format.

"In past years, it was top three and then the top team would go straight in and the two and three play off.

"This year, it's top four so you effectively can win the minor premiership, play the team coming fourth and lose."

Although happy with Laidley's progress, Sippel said the Blue Dogs players didn't set any pre-Christmas targets.

"We never really spoke about where we wanted to be at Christmas time," he said.

"It was more about just putting some good performances together.

"You'd like to finish top two. I think where we are at now, we're pushing for the minor premiership but there's still a lot of cricket to be played yet."

Topics:  laidley blue dogs mick sippel swifts bluebirds

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