JOINING FORCES: Ipswich Cricket is to be bolstered significantly with the IWMCA and Ipswich Logan Hornets hoping to finalise a merger prior to next season. Pictured are the Hornets celebrating a wicket in the recent Premier Grade semi-final.
Picture: Rob Williams.
JOINING FORCES: Ipswich Cricket is to be bolstered significantly with the IWMCA and Ipswich Logan Hornets hoping to finalise a merger prior to next season. Pictured are the Hornets celebrating a wicket in the recent Premier Grade semi-final. Picture: Rob Williams.

Ipswich cricket to become one

In a step set to shore up the game’s foothold in the region the Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association and Ipswich Logan Hornets are planning to merge.

IWMCA president Michael Stoodley confirmed a working group featuring representatives from the two bodies and Queensland Cricket had been established to examine over the off-season what form a merged organisation might take.

Ipswich cricket prospered over the past 12 months as co-operation and communication between the two bodies reached new heights.

Stoodley wants to see the considerable improvements continue.

“One of our goals is to ensure co-operation between the associations,” he said.

“It needs to be a solid partnership.

“There have been very promising moves to consolidate that arrangement and amalgamate.

“That is the plan and we’re actively working towards that.”

Stoodley said the clubs had expressed a desire for the association to be a single entity and the working group had been deployed to determine the finer details of any arrangement.

He said it had met on several occasions, with a proposal expected to be ready to present at the end of April before feedback from stakeholders was sought in May.

“It has been going really well,” he said.

“We should have a final agreement on a merged entity by the end of June.”

Stoodley said it was a monumental stride forward for the game in the region.

“Both recognised something needed to be done to move Ipswich Cricket forward with support of the clubs,” he said.

“We’re working positively towards achieving that outcome and hopefully we’ll have one body for Ipswich Cricket next season.”

Over the past 12 months the enhanced relationship has already produced outstanding results, with the Hornets’ men making it all of the way to a maiden Premier Grade grand final and the women reaching the Katherine Raymont Shield semis. Participation was up overall locally and the pathway between the IWMCA and Hornets functioned seamlessly, with players such as Northsiders Toby Kerswell among those to link with the Baxter Oval based outfit.

Numerous local talents also went on to play at a representative level for their region and state.

“That’s a mark of what you’re doing as a cricketing organisation when you have people playing at the next level,” Stoodley said.

He said the performance of the Hornets men and women was wonderful news for Ipswich Cricket and he praised the players and coaches involved for their dedication.

He said their efforts had raised the profile of Ipswich Cricket enormously and shown emerging talents there was a ready-made pathway to higher level cricket and a future within the game right here in Ipswich.

“If you want to play in the Premier Grade final, you can go to Ipswich,” Stoodley said.

“(Hornets head coach) Aaron Moore has done a fantastic job.

“He is a very well-credentialed and capable coach, and he is bringing out the best from the first and second graders.”

With a view to player development, Ipswich Logan was able to call on well-performed IWMCA club players and drop regular Hornets in need of touch back to their local clubs when necessary last season.

Stoodley said although the system appeared to function reasonably well, he was looking for more IWMCA club players to put their hands up for a promotion.

“It is only going to help lift the overall quality,” he said.



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