Brothers club spirit, loyalty shines in junior development
DURING a time when junior development is so crucial, Brothers Ipswich supporters are displaying their trademark club spirit and loyalty.
Elite coaches like Nev Paulsen have been helping the club's junior players in recent seasons.
Long-serving players like David Richardson, David Meier and Scott Lavery continue to help Brothers teams like those in this season's Level 2 competitions.
Brothers senior vice-president Sonia Morris appreciated the extra work being done to improve the skills of young cricketers and help them enjoy a popular summer sport.
"They are making the club move forward, which I think is great,'' she said.
Richardson, Meier and Lavery are still playing in over-40 or Second Grade competition, often dashing back from their games to help the kids.
"It's great to see the players not leave the club and are now contributing back to the juniors,'' she said.
Morris said club president Leo Conway and the Brothers committee were also doing an amazing job supporting the juniors.
"Everyone pitches in, which is very nice,'' Morris said.
"There's a lot of experience in there, which is great.''
Cricket Ipswich's Level 2 competition is primarily for under-13 players.
This season's structure features a Level 2A series - where Brothers has one team - and a Level 2B competition. Brothers has two sides - Blue and White - in that competition.
The new Level 2A/Level 2B format was introduced last season to try and level out the ability differences evident in the former under-12 division.
Brothers are leading the Level 2A competition.
"That is actually quite a strong competition,'' Morris said.
Morris knows first hand how valuable the competitions are having sons Nic, 8, Luke, 11, and Sam, 13, involved. Luke and Sam play together in the Level 2A team.
"It keeps us very busy,'' the sporting mum said.
However, she is pleased to see the boys progressing in their sport.
Luke and Sam are also in Ipswich development teams involved in carnivals or competition hubs this season.
"The kids all enjoy it. They're learning new skills,'' she said.
"Some of the kids are coming through.''
Morris said it was pleasing to have six teams in Level 2A and a nine sides representing regional clubs in Level 2B.
Brothers also have two sides in Level 1 (under 11) and a Level 4 (under 17) combined team with Fassifern.
The focus is on encouraging kids to play so valuable regional clubs like Brothers can field teams in all junior divisions.
Morris said highly-regarded Queensland Cricket specialist coach Paulsen had shared his knowledge at Brothers for the past four seasons.
Life member and former club captain Richardson, Meier and Lavery are continuing the positive work at training and through clinics.
Former Brothers junior and current Ipswich Hornets player Dylan McAteer is also helping out the kids.
Nine current Brothers juniors have progressed to SEQ under 12 to under 15 teams in recent weeks, striving to follow Australian under-15 representative McAteer to higher level cricket.
Today's photo spread from Gary Reid features action from last Saturday's Level 2 match between Brothers and Northsiders at Jim Donald Park.
Level 2 matches are played on Saturday's as 30 over games, or 60 over matches over two weekends.
Last Saturday's Level 2A match was played on the turf wicket. The younger 2B teams played on the synthetic field at Jim Donald Park.