Rebuilding Redbacks focus on boosting first grade ranks
AS regional cricketers keep a close eye on the rainy skies, the South East Redbacks are hoping to control some thunder of their own.
The club's first grade team is scheduled to play Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder in Saturday's Harding Madsen Shield Round 4 match at Tivoli.
Both clubs are focused on rebuilding their top grade sides this season, especially the winless Redbacks.
Club president Kris Hoffmann said the priority was strengthening the senior ranks before introducing junior teams with players from Redbank Plains and surrounding areas.
"This year, we've had a whole new committee take over,'' Hoffmann said.
"We're trying to focus on developing players into first grade players.''
The Redbacks currently have First, Second and Third Grade sides playing under the new Cricket Ipswich structure.
The Redbacks are based at Bruce Raleigh Oval at Redbank Plains.
Hoffmann welcomed players from the club's traditional base through to Springfield and Ripley.
"We're looking anywhere down that corridor,'' Hoffmann said, keen to recruit new players for the future.
"Our plan going forward this year was to get First Grade sorted and then focus on our juniors.''
The club is getting involved with programs like MILO Blasters to introduce newcomers to the game.
The current First Grade side is being guided by player/coach Amila Wethathsinghe, who began helping the club last season.
The handy all-rounder is working with regulars like batsman Jason Packer, Ethan Acutt and Daniel Hamilton, who were with Taipans/Swifts before the club became the Redbacks a few years ago.
Lower order batsman/bowler Hoffmann has been with the club for the past three years, playing Second Grade and filling in for the top side when needed.
In their three Harding Madsen Shield matches so far, the Redbacks have lost to Centrals, Metropolitan Easts (Toowoomba) and Highfields-Railways (Toowoomba).
Against Met Easts, the Redbacks putting on 311 yet still lost.
Hoffmann said batting and bowling consistency were issues the First Grade team was keen to improve on.
"We're still trying to work on setting it up for the season,'' the club president said.
Qld Premier Grade (Saturday)
Ipswich Hornets v South Brisbane
1st Grade at Baxter Oval
2nd Grade at Yeronga
Women's Cricket (Sunday)
1st Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Sandgate Redcliffe at Baxter Oval
2nd Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Northern Suburbs at Deagon
Youth: Ipswich Taverners v Northern Suburbs at Walker Oval
Harding Madsen Shield Round 4
Central Districts v Metropolitan Easts at Limestone Park
Brothers v Laidley District at Walker Oval
Thunder v South East Redbacks at Tivoli No.1
Northsiders v Southern Districts Magpies at Sternberg Oval
Diggers v Wests & Uni v Highfields in Toowoomba
Thunder v Brothers at Tivoli No.2
Laidley v Centrals at Bichel Oval
Northsiders v Redbacks at Marsden No.4
Thunder Storm v Strollers White at Mt Crosby
Strollers Blue v Northsiders at Strollers
Redbacks v Laidley at Redbank Plains Reserve
Brothers v Thunder at Jim Donald Oval