Player of the year keen to reach 10,000 runs
CRICKET: Division 1 Player of the year Mick Sippel has no immediate plans to retire, with the prospect of reaching 10,000 runs keeping him motivated.
Sippel, 42, received the top individual award at Saturday night's annual Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association trophy presentation night at Brothers Leagues Club.
He was among a number of Laidley District players to receive honours including Matt Grassick (2nd Division Player of the Year), Alex Welsh (joint Division 1 bowler of the year), Ben O'Connell (most centuries) and wicketkeeper Travis Ilka (Terry O'Keefe Memorial Sportsmanship Award).
"Most people who play against Travis would have to say he's a gentleman on the field so I'm not surprised by that (winning the award),'' Sippel said.
"He does play the game in the right spirit.''
Sippel said he'd like to see Grassick play first division next season after his consistent form.
Sippel said he hadn't thought about winning another Player of the Year accolade, rating Centrals captain Wayne Jones as a worthy winner.
"Looking back, I thought Jonesy might have been in contention for it because he did well,'' Sippel said.
"Even though his team probably didn't do well all year, he was always the best performer. He would have voted highly from the umpires.''
However, ever-consistent allrounder Sippel was pleased to receive the latest award after scoring 535 runs at an average of 66.88 for the season.
"I didn't envisage winning it,'' Sippel said.
"I was just happy to play but I'm proud of the achievement.''
Regularly asked when he was going to finish his illustrious cricket career, the Laidley warrior said he hadn't thought about it after the Bluedogs made another grand final, being minor premiers.
"I've got no plans to retire,'' he said, encouraged by being the competition's leading run scorer.
"While you've got a club like ours that's successful and just a great club to be part of, you don't really want to just throw it all in.
"I'm happy to keep playing.
"After last season, I still feel like I can contribute.
"If the body still goes okay, I feel like I can still play.''
Approaching 200 games in the Ipswich competition, Sippel needs another 750 runs to reach the 10,000 milestone.
"That's something that I could strive towards,'' he said.
"That would be a great achievement to finish with 10,000 runs.
"I just wish I could see some more young guys coming through playing but that's a problem across all the competition.''
As a mark of his fine team spirit, Sippel rated his favourite moment being in the middle when opener Jason Cubit scored a hundred against Wests in the opening round of the one-day competition involving Toowoomba sides.
"It wasn't really a personal thing. It was probably more batting with him,'' Sippel said.
"Jason's played over 200 games for the club now and to bat with him when he got his first, first-grade hundred (was satisfying).
"Jason and I are very close friends.''
Laidley District received the club championship award for the 2017/18 season.
Brothers were the 1st Division champions having won the recent grand final.
Brothers bowler Chris Smith was named Player of the 1st Division final for his fantastic 12-wicket haul.
Other Players of the Year were Northsiders cricketer Ashley Brown (3rd Division) and 4th Division winner Hayden Perrem (Fassifern Cricket Association).
The full list of award winners appear in Tuesday's QT.