Swifts captain to leave
IF you thought things couldn’t get much worse for Swifts, look out.
The captain, coach, wicketkeeper, opening batsman and one of the few quality players at the club – Jacob Sarra – is leaving town in the new year to take up a job at a mine near Acland, north-west of Toowoomba.
The job was too good an offer to pass up, even if it means leaving his club to struggle without him.
“It’s triple the money for one third the time,” said Sarra, who has been working two jobs as a courier and bottle shop attendant.
“I was working two jobs and making bugger all,” he said.
“I feel bad (leaving Swifts) but cricket doesn’t pay the bills.”
Swifts remain winless and, in the eyes of many, shouldn’t be contesting A grade, having lost three games outright.
Former players talk about the historic rarity of outright wins, such was the closeness of the Division 1 competition in past years.
Yet Swifts have lost their three games unaffected by rain outright.
“Maybe not this year,” Sarra concedes of the club’s ability to compete in Division 1.
“But the club has so many good young players around if they bide their time for a couple of years they will have a good side.”
Until then, things only look like getting worse.
“We’ve got a lot of young players who play school cricket,” Sarra said.
“That will leave a bigger hole (when they return to school) than me leaving.”
It was the future potential of the club, with increasing player numbers, a strong junior base and being located in one of Queensland’s fastest growing areas which convinced the Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association (IWMCA) to throw them in the deep end when Colleges Crossing folded before the start of the 2009-10 season.
But after taking out the wooden spoon in their first season, Swifts lost a number of their better players, who were sick of losing so often, and coach Shane Shipton.
“We underperformed last year to an extent,” Sarra said.
“Then we lost a few players.
“If we’d had the same team as last year, we would have done better this year.”
As it is, Sarra concedes there are players in the Division 1 team who are not up to the level of cricket expected.
“It is not even their skill,” the representative player said.
“They’re not there mentally, throwing their wickets away.”
However, he maintains the same can be said of most clubs.
It is hard to attract good players to a club that doesn’t have many and Sarra admits giving Swifts a chance before they were ready could “lead to a vicious cycle”.
Yet Sarra believes it was the right thing to take up the IWMCA offer of a place in the top division.
“They had to take the opportunity when they got it, otherwise it might not have come up again,” he said.
Sarra is still waiting to see if he can return to play for the club every second weekend once his new job starts.
‘I feel bad (leaving Swifts) but cricket doesn’t pay the bills’