Marburg and Mt Crosby cricket club representatives (from left) Matt Blunn, Rino Nugter, Kel Janke, Alan Donovan and Brian Haag are looking forward to working together.
Marburg and Mt Crosby cricket club representatives (from left) Matt Blunn, Rino Nugter, Kel Janke, Alan Donovan and Brian Haag are looking forward to working together. David Nielsen

Strong alliance to assist clubs

THE Marburg Cricket Club has endured some trying times in recent seasons.

However, recently-returned club president Rino Nugter has plans to return the club to its former strength.

Nugter vacated the presidency following the 2008-09 season but has been prompted to return to help the club he feels so passionately about.

He will be supported by former side-kicks Brian and Sue Haag, who will fill the roles of secretary and treasurer.

"There was no one else to do it so I put my hand up, basically," Nugter said.

"There are a lot of good kids there so I felt obliged in one way."

One of those is Nugter's son Tobias.

"The club has a good community with the kids and their parents are a great bunch of people," Nugter said.

"That's why my boy is still playing there, even though we've lived in Ipswich for the past four years."

One of the new committee's first acts was to join forces with the Mt Crosby Cricket Club to ensure players from both clubs have teams for next summer's competition.

The Marburg under-14s and under-16s have both just completed undefeated seasons but did so with a bare minimum of players.

"We struggled in the 14s and 16s, like they did," Nugter said.

"Four of our under-14s played under-16s and four of our under-12s played 14s.

"Those 16s will be playing seniors next year and they can't be playing fourths or thirds."

The two clubs will combine to field senior, under-14 and under-16 teams.

"With the guys who used to play second grade and the talent Mt Crosby's got, we can probably field a second grade, third grade and maybe two fourth grade sides," Nugter said.

Marburg currently fields a senior Division 4 side and Mt Crosby a Division 3 team.

How they will sort things out when either club becomes strong enough to field their own top division teams is a matter for another day.

"We've got to look at what's happening now," Nugter said.

"Otherwise the kids will go to another club."

Nugter wants to build the club to the point it can field a senior Division One team again, which it hasn't done since 2009-10.

The players from that team have been assimilated into other IWMCA clubs since and Nugter concedes he's unlikely to get many, if any, of them back to Marburg.

"You can lose players real quickly but it is harder to get them back," Nugter said.

While junior numbers are a concern, Nugter believes the Mustangs are in better health now in some areas than when he was last in charge.

"It's a lot happier," he said.

"We've got kids coming through."