Swifts’ batter Daniel Blyth is one of a host of talented youngsters the club’s Division One future depends upon.
Swifts’ batter Daniel Blyth is one of a host of talented youngsters the club’s Division One future depends upon. Sarah Harvey

Lacey appointed Swifts captain

JARRED Lacey has taken over what could be the toughest job in Ipswich cricket – captaining Swifts in the Ipswich West Moreton Division One competition.

Lacey takes over from Jacob Sarra, who has had to vacate the post due to work commitments.

Sarra asked Lacey if he’d assume the captaincy and the Flinders View 21-year-old didn’t hesitate.

That is despite the team having lost all the matches it has completed this season, three by outright defeat.

“It is a good role and the club is working towards good things,” Lacey said.

“It makes it tough (captaining a losing team).

“Results aren’t going our way but we’re working towards something.” For Lacey the job is likely to get tougher before it starts getting easier.

“The biggest challenge is looking after all the young blokes,” he said.

“We have three 16, going on 17-year-olds we are unfortunately going to lose in a couple of weeks when school comes around.”

In recent seasons Swifts have produced some of the best junior cricketers in the region.

The problem is the pick of them have been thrust into senior cricket before their time.

“We have an inexperienced side and they do have brain snaps,” Lacey conceded.

“That’s something they will learn with experience.”

Until then, Lacey has to guide them.

“For players like Mick Sippel, I’ll set certain fields for him,” Lacey said.

“One of the most important things is to get the young blokes to bowl to plans, because they don’t do that in junior cricket.

“My job will be to make field changes and steady the top order.”

Lacey will not have the added responsibility of coaching the team, with David Gill taking on that mantle.

The new skipper admits he will have to improve the team’s discipline and approach to the game, conceding their premature rise to A-grade meant some players hadn’t had to work hard enough to get there.

While other teams will be seen warming up an hour before game time, Swifts have been criticised for mucking around and only turning up 10 minutes before play starts.

“It is a lot to do with leadership and player commitment,” Lacey said.

“It is something I am hoping to change.

“The young blokes need to show a bit more commitment and start working towards some goals.”

Lacey is confident that will be rectified before long.

This year Swifts are fielding five senior teams, up from four last year, so increased competition should lead to a rise in professionalism.

Eventually, the lessons being learned in the current school of hard knocks by the likes of wicketkeeper Jay Evans, Dan Blythe, Steve Homburg and Cameron Wood will turn them into genuine quality Division One cricketers.

Lacey won’t judge the success of this season by results.

“Just the commitment and taking positives from the game,” are the things Lacey said he would judge his team by.

“We don’t necessarily have to be winning.

“We just need to be competitive in every aspect of the game.

“If everyone is working hard we’ll have had a good season.”

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