Northsiders cricket coaches Marcus and Michael Hillier are keen to create a fun and successful team environment this season.
Northsiders cricket coaches Marcus and Michael Hillier are keen to create a fun and successful team environment this season. David Nielsen

How Northsiders plan to rebuild right culture

NORTHSIDERS' new coaching partnership of Michael and Marcus Hillier joke they are like rugby league's Walker brothers.

"Marcus is named Shane Walker and I'm Ben Walker,'' passionate Ipswich sportsman Michael said preparing for the revamped club cricket season starting on Saturday..

While the experienced cricketing brothers can only dream of achieving what the Jets coaching duo have  in the state league, Michael and Marcus are adopting a terrific approach at Northsiders.

"Marcus and I are just concentrating on coaching because at the moment we have got enough good young players,'' Michael said.

"The main thing is what we are trying to do this year is rebuild our culture and really get the boys working hard again and working for each other.

"And we'll worry about results later.''

After some tough recent seasons, Michael said it was important Northsiders regained its spirit and created an enjoyable environment to play in.

"We're going to have a good time as well off the field,'' said Michael, who has been involved with the club since 2004.

"We're doing a lot of things differently at training. There's a lot of emphasis on fitness and catching.

"It's really about trying to get the players to enjoy their cricket again.

"With out being disrespectful to anyone in the past, we probably got a bit stale.

"If we can get everybody happy and having fun and enjoying it, that's half the battle.''

The mood at Northsiders has already lifted significantly with two exciting captains appointed to take the first grade team forward in this year's combined Ipswich-Toowoomba one-day competition.

Batsman Ryan Benson and all-rounder Dominic Salton represent the values that the Hillier brothers want to see at the North Ipswich-based club.

"Marcus and I thought at the time, with young players they need some responsibility so they're going to have a lot of work to do,'' Michael said.

"We really want them to stand up and have good years.''

Northsiders have also signed all-rounder Alex Coogan from Swifts. He's a Norths junior returning.

Other additions include Fairhurst brothers Kane and Matt, along with Ipswich Hornets under-16 left-arm bowler Oscar McCarron.

Kane is an allrounder and Matt is a steady left-handed batsman.

"We're looking pretty good,'' Michael said.

"We've got a majority of players from last year that have come back again.''

That includes experienced campaigners like fast bowler Kev Cumming and allrounder Paul Milne.

Michael works as a media manager for the Queensland Rugby League. Marcus has his own plumbing business.

Northsiders play Brothers in Saturday's match Keith Sternberg Oval.

Being Northsiders' 20th anniversary, Michael welcomed the cricketing old boys to join in the club's resurgence.



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