Thunder and lightning by young Lee at new club

GOOD MOVE: Deni Lee is enjoying his switch from Laidley to the Thunder this summer.
GOOD MOVE: Deni Lee is enjoying his switch from Laidley to the Thunder this summer. Rob Williams

THUNDER opener Deni Lee has been surprised with his form, given the little time he has been able to train for his new club.

The former Laidley Blue Dog's half-century on Monday followed 82 against Northsiders in a two-day game earlier this season.

His job at the Coronation Hotel at West Ipswich means he can only train Monday nights and half of those his team has been playing.

Lee was 12th man for Laidley in their Division One grand final loss to Brothers in March.

He was lured to the Marburg/Mt Crosby Thunder at the urgings of his uncle Kel Janke, who is the Mt Crosby club president.

The return of batsmen Brendan O'Keefe and Gerard Sippel at Laidley was also a factor in his switch.

"It was always going to make it hard," Lee said.

"I was also planning on focusing on work."

He is glad he made the move, even if his old team got the better of his new team in the two-day match that was completed on Saturday and he copped a dodgy decision.

The encouraging thing for Lee and his Thunder teammates was they made Laidley earn the win.

"I'm pretty happy at the moment," the 21-year-old said.

"There's a lot of room for improvement at the club

"The whole team is young and improving.

"At the start of the season, I was the only one who had played first grade."

Lee admitted there was a bit of an adjustment to make joining the new Division One team.

At the Blue Dogs, the senior players have been at the club for many years.

The culture is well developed and all the players know their role.

At the Thunder, former Queensland wicket-keeper and Thunder captain/coach John Bell, now in his 60s, has had to organise a team of mostly teenagers.

But Lee has faith success will come with time and experience, even if he concedes he did not think they'd be ready for Division One this season.

"I thought another year as a whole team in second grade would be good," he said.

"I reckon probably another two years (and the Thunder will be capable of beating good teams). Once we're established as a team, it will help us recruit players."

In the short term, Lee would love to see his team notch a win or two in the one and two-day competitions. "It would be a bit of a confidence boost for the boys," he said.

"Just being competitive with the bottom half of the table would be good."

T20 LADDER

  • Swifts 4 (played 3)
  • Laidley 4 (2)
  • Thunder 2 (3)
  • Brothers 2 (1)
  • Taipans 2 (2)
  • Hornets Colts 0 (2)
  • Fassifern 0 (0)
  • Centrals 0 (0)
  • Northsiders 0 (1)

If there is a young Thunder player to watch in the future, Deni Lee nominates Lachlan Vellacott.

"He's keen as in the field," Lee said.

"And he bowled the last couple of overs (on Monday night) really tight."



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