Northsiders withdraw top grade cricket side
NORTHSIDERS have taken the drastic step of not entering a first grade side in this season's Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association Division One competition.
The Tigers have suffered an off-season exodus of senior players, forcing a majority board decision to field only lower grade sides, rather than get flogged every week in the top grade.
Captain/coach Paul Milne, Jarred Lacey, Darren Barbour and Doug Lutherburrow are unavailable due to work commitments.
Rob Hillier and Kev Cumming have retired, Aaron Nugter has joined his dad and brother at the Thunder and Damian Ladd has moved to Tasmania.
It has taken away the senior core of the side and, with the Ipswich playing pool diluted by the arrival of the Ipswich Logan Hornets, there was not enough talent at the club to maintain a competitive first grade side.
"We'd much prefer to be competitive in second grade than get beaten every week in first grade like other clubs have done in the past," Northsiders president Troy Noe said.
"We're a proud club and we wouldn't want to get hammered every week and potentially lose more players."
There are seven members on the Northsiders management committee and at training this week five of them agreed on the decision.
The club desperately hopes to field a first grade side next season, as it is the 20th anniversary of the merger between Norths and Waysiders to form the Northsiders club.
Noe concedes not having a first grade side this season will make it hard to attract quality players, particularly as Northsiders don't wish to pillage other clubs' ranks.
"The club held off making the decision for some time in the hope we'd get a few more players," Noe said. "The decision was no taken lightly.
"But anything can happen in 12 months time.
"The last thing we want to do is weaken other clubs.
"There's not as many quality cricketers in Ipswich any more."
Where the players will come from to get the Tigers back into the top grade remains to be seen.
But Noe has appealed for help from anyone with an interest in the club to help.
"It is a matter of us getting together and seeing where we want to go and what we want to do," Noe said.
"That's not just the committee, but anyone who is interested in the club has to assist.
"It's getting harder to attract people to cricket."
The reasons are multiple, but work commitments are a dominant theme.
"People only want to play for a short time and don't want to commit every week," Noe said.
"It's just so hard to manage playing sport and work and home life.
Northsiders were scheduled to play Thunder in a two day game starting today.
Instead, Thunder will play Laidley, who were supposed to have a bye, in a one day game next weekend.
IWMCA Division 1, Round 2 games today:
- Brothers v Swifts at Ivor Marsden 2
- Centrals v Taipans at Mark Marsh Oval