Swifts building vital new partnerships
WITH a new Ipswich cricket season just weeks away, Swifts have opted for more leadership experience in their quest for success.
The club has appointed Cameron Wood and Dylan Hickson as first grade co-captains, working with new coach Mike Stoodley.
Wood has been with Swifts since the club was formed in 2000.
Hickson is another talented allrounder, preparing for his third season with the Bluebirds.
Stoodley has previously been involved with the Ipswich Hornets and other representative teams.
Club president Luke Smith is delighted to see Wood form a joint leadership partnership with Hickson.
"We made him vice-captain last year and I think he really excelled in that role,'' Smith said.
Smith said Hickson also deserved his opportunity to take the Swifts' first division team forward.
"He's a natural leader, a natural cricketer,'' Smith said.
"He's a very talented cricketer so him and Cameron complement each other really well, and they were very keen to take the role on together.
"They'll work together as a team.''
Stoodley adds a new direction in coaching, especially with Swifts having lost senior campaigner Nathan Hooper and having another stalwart Tom Douglas undecided about playing in the new season.
"Mike joined Swifts last year and played a bit of third grade,'' the club president said.
"Just to have that experience, an older guy to pull the guys into line at training and set all the drills up and everything.
"He's got the guys keen, which is good.''
Smith said Swifts were organised preparing for a new season.
He was also happy the season was starting later this year to give other sportsmen a chance to move more smoothly between sports.
"It's hard to get guys from the hockey and footy season to training when they are committed to winter sports,'' Smith said.
"The numbers have been good without being great. But I think in the next two weeks, you really start to see guys roll in, which is good.''
After conceding last season was a mixed one for Swifts, Smith is confident the team will perform more consistently if they can get into a rhythm.
"We'd come off the season before where we made the final and with a young squad, we sort of expected things to happen,'' he said.
"We had a couple of guys get injured early in the season and had a couple of washouts and we were behind the eight-ball.''
After Swifts recovered to finish fourth, Smith is keen for the players to make a better start in season 2016/17.