Top dog signs
THE Laidley Blue Dogs have shown their intent for the next cricket season by signing Craig Jesberg as club coach.
"Peter Wood put in a call and asked if I would be interested," the former Queensland representative and Strollers player said.
"I had to weigh up a few options because it means being out there for the kids on Wednesday, the adults on Thursday and on Saturdays."
Jesberg also coaches the St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, schoolboys and works as groundsman at the school. He is coach of Ipswich representative side Pioneers in the Webb Shield.
His experience coaching junior and senior cricketers should prove a perfect fit at Laidley.
"The club has a lot of depth in the juniors and I'll be working with the juniors," Jesberg said.
"I'm going to be a busy man, with the Webb Shield and I've put my hand up for SEQ."
Jesberg is also looking at it as an opportunity to become a better coach, with the goal to one day coach Queensland Country and possibly a Brisbane grade club.
"I want to get better," Jesberg said.
"This is a good stepping stone. How high I can go I'm not sure."
One of Jesberg's first goals will be to return Laidley to its former dominance in the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association Division One.
"I want to get them back where they should be - on top," he said.
"Where they were for the last five years and getting into finals."
Jesberg is looking forward to working with the Laidley players, many of whom he knows well.
"Travis Ilka was back scoring runs for Laidley and in the Webb Shield," Jesberg said. "Jarrod Bichel had an outstanding year of representative cricket.
"Sipps (Michael Sippel) is really keen, as is (Laidley captain) Chris Wilson and the other senior players. Mick and I are good friends and we talk regularly."
The former Strollers player sees no reason Laidley can't return to its former glory.
"I really want to step it up and bring the young kids through," he said. "Hopefully we can pick up one or two players too."
Jesberg will try to harness the typical Blue Dogs attributes, rather than reinvent the wheel.
"I'll have a different way of coaching and these guys will find out where I stand," he said.
"I want to bring back that Laidley pride they had.
"Hard-as-nails cricket but enjoying the game as well."
The former Queensland Country captain isn't from the John Buchanan school of left-field coaching.
"I've got no philosophy about coaching," he said. "I stick by my guns and play it as I see it.
"I just want the players to enjoy it on the field and come off the field and enjoy it as well.
"All I have is application and dedication.
"Ric Mahoney and Ray Leschke taught me that when I was 10."