Higher honours give SEQ talents added incentive at home
CRICKETERS of the future in the SEQ Stormers team have plenty to motivate them during this weekend's Schaeffer Shield series at Amberley.
Apart from testing themselves against heavyweight rivals Darling Downs and Wide Bay, the cricketers are in line for higher honours.
A South Queensland team will be chosen from the Schaeffer Shield games with Queensland Country open and under-21 sides to follow.
SEQ coach Craig Jesberg expects a number of his players to be in the selection mix for South Queensland and the Queensland Country side contesting the national titles in Toowoomba in January.
"We've added a bit of youth, which the selectors are looking at,'' the former state player said. "They need to be seen.
"There's a lot of spots opening. People have retired and bowlers are down so there's a lot of opportunities this year.''
The SEQ team is being captained by Centrals skipper Matt Guest, assisted by Warehouse wicketkeeper Charles Matthews.
The other players are Tim Weber, Geoff Klease, Lachlan Vellacott, Luke Barrett, Ben Swinn (Centrals); Troy Cooper, Luke Pollock (Northsiders); Matt Andrews (wicketkeeper), Zac Hollis (Brothers); and Steve Rees (Warehouse).
Laidley bowler Ryan Plummer had to withdraw after injuring his calf muscle.
Warehouse allrounder Steve Rees was added to the squad.
Justin Miller is managing the team, having enjoyed a long association with Jesberg.
SEQ lost its first round Schaeffer Shield clash to Gold Coast during the recent Bulls Masters Country Challenge in Bundaberg. That was a T20 game where SEQ only made 61.
However, Jesberg expects his players to perform better in their Round 2 50-over matches against Darling Downs on Saturday and Wide Bay on Sunday.
Gold Coast is the fourth team involved this weekend, with all games at the Ivor Marsden Sporting Complex.
"Toowoomba has got a very strong side this year and we've got an even stronger side this year and the Gold Coast is even stronger so it's going to be a good comp,'' Jesberg said.
SEQ made last year's Schaeffer Shield final.
"There's new players in the squads now and younger and they are coming to the fore,'' Jesberg said.
"We keep the players that are not going to the Hornets . . . and they are able to develop.''
No first division Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association matches are scheduled this weekend due to the Schaeffer Shield series.
Schaeffer Shield Round 2: Saturday (9am) - SEQ v Darling Downs at Marsden No.1; Gold Coast v Wide Bay at Marsden No.2.
Round 3: Sunday (8.30am) - SEQ v Wide Bay at Marsden No.2; Gold Coast v Darling Downs at Marsden No.1.
IWMCA 2nd Division: Saturday - Centrals v South East Redbacks at Limestone Park; Laidley District v Brothers at Bichel Oval; Northsiders v Fassifern at Sternberg Oval; Thunder bye.
Points: Northsiders 30, Redbacks 22, Centrals 19, Fassifern 17, Thunder 13*, Laidley 12*, Brothers 2 (* bye to come).
3rd Division: Thunder Storm v Bundamba Strollers at Tivoli No.1; Redbacks Walesendia v Centrals at Redbank Plains Reserve; Springfield v Redbacks Raiders at Raleigh Oval; Northsiders v Laidley at Marsden No.4; Brothers Fassifern v Thunder Ducks at Boonah.
Points: Laidley 38, Thunder Ducks 32, Centrals 30, Thunder Storm 27, Redbacks Walesendia 25, Strollers 21, Brothers Fassifern 17, Northsiders 11, Raiders 10, Springfield -0.5.