Fear for depth of Ipswich comp
THE Ipswich Logan Hornets hope to field a third grade side for the upcoming 2014-15 Brisbane Grade season.
The Hornets have put the proposal to Queensland Cricket and are waiting on an answer.
Currently there is an even number of teams in the third grade competition, with an odd number not considered an option.
But with University of Queensland and Souths both fielding two teams, Ipswich have asked to be considered to replace one of them.
The move has generated concern among Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association clubs who fear the move will weaken the local competition.
However, Hornets and IWMCA vice-president Paul Wilson has moved to allay any concerns.
Wilson said the Hornets were in the process of recruiting several senior players from outside Ipswich to strengthen the Hornets.
He said the new team would be an added incentive for last year's best under-16s to join the Hornets.
"We feel we're giving some younger players the chance to play in grade cricket," Wilson said.
"Some may decide it's not for them and they'll return to play in Ipswich.
"But some players will always want to have a crack in Brisbane."
Last summer the Hornets' second grade side struggled and Wilson admits there is no guarantee the third grade side will be successful in its first season.
Wilson said there was no intention to try to expand the Hornets club any further down the track.
However, Northsiders president Troy Noe believes it is "too much, too soon", coming the season after the IWMCA added the Mt Crosby Thunder to its Division One competition.
That diluted the talent pool in Ipswich and adding a third grade Hornets side will leave the local playing pool even weaker, he said.
"There's just not enough people playing cricket in Ipswich," Noe said.
"You've got to have one or the other. You can't have your cake and eat it."
Noe pointed to the Sunshine Coast Cricket Club, which has restricted its presence in the Brisbane competition to two grades, as an example of the model Ipswich should stick to.
"I can't see the benefit to cricket in Ipswich," Noe said of a new Hornets team. "What sort of side will our Webb Shield and Plunkett Cup (representative) teams put out.
"Players in Ipswich are getting older and the more they look at taking people out of the local comp, the less competitive it will be."
Noe believes players coming out of the under-16s are unlikely to have the mental fortitude to compete in the Brisbane grade competition.
Instead, they should be encouraged to join an IWMCA club, which would strengthen Ipswich in the Webb Shield and Plunkett Cup.
"They should be learning something through the country system," he said.
"That should be the pathway.
"Otherwise they might as well just chop the Webb Shield and Plunkett Cup teams."