By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
MAYBE even as early as next summer the make up of local cricket's first grade competition could receive a massive facelift if a bold plan to include Grafton's teams comes to fruition.
An ailing Clarence River competition is the catalyst for the bold new plan but Coffs Harbour Association president Ken Robinson says that there's a lot of water to go under the bridge before a combined first grade competition becomes a reality.
"It hasn't even got to the committee level yet, there's only been discussions at the president level," Robinson said.
"Nothing formally has been put forward yet."
Even though the proposal is currently only at the embryonic stages, Robinson can see some positives that would come from a combined North Coast competition but at this point is remaining non-commital as his recent efforts have concentrated on other more pressing matters.
"It is to be considered and it was put forward at the last association meeting where we asked for the clubs to get back to us with feedback," he said.
"To this date we've had none but we've had our minds on more important things recently like sending rep sides away and the ING Cup."
Ultimately Robinson believes that the success of such a venture relies on the attitude of the players that participate and how warmly they embrace the concept.
"I think we need to get the captains of our six current first grade sides to put forward their thoughts and also get them to sit down with the first grade captains from the Clarence River," he added.
"This proposal is for first grade only and it's looking at having a premier league.
"My main concern is that it may be to the detriment of inter district cricket but there's still a long way to go."
The biggest issue with the joining of the two associations is obviously the travel factor, especially for the Bellingen/Dorrigo and Harwood clubs who would be the two teams that would be required to travel the most under the proposed arrangement.