POTTSVILLE captain and wicket-keeper Nicholas Watt in action for the side in October.
POTTSVILLE captain and wicket-keeper Nicholas Watt in action for the side in October. Blainey Woodham

Pottsville cricket looks ahead

IN the middle of one of one of its worst seasons on record, the Pottsville Cricket Club is far from a spent force and is already hatching plans to return to the winners circle in 2010.

Currently languishing at the bottom of the LJ Hooker Cricket League table after a series of demoralising defeats, the club is fighting to avoid back-to-back wooden spoons.

The retirement of six senior players and rumours of the senior team folding – which began before the season kicked off – put the club at a disadvantage from the word go.

But club captain John Morris declared yesterday that the proud club would be back at its competitive best as early as next year.

And, it is prepared to open the club coffers to make it happen.

An incentive scheme is set to be re-introduced that will see cricketers paid $10 for a wicket and $2 a run.

That will see any player who can put together a century receive a handy pay-day of $200, or $50 for a five-wicket haul.

Morris said the Pottsville club was one of the more financial in the competition and would have no problems financing its plans.

It will see Pottsville re-join many of the other Tweed teams in paying players.

“Only a few years ago we had one of the top sides,” Morris said.

“We are going to press ahead for this season and do our best while implementing major plans for next year.”

Morris rubbished the rumours of the demise of the club’s first-grade side, he said they jeopardized Tweed District Cricket.

“We are confident we will keep playing for the rest of the season and some very exciting conversations are being had with players heading into 2010,” Morris said.

“We are encouraged by the inquiries we are making right now and with the re-introduction of the bonus scheme for this year.

“It will put this team back in contention.

“We’re going to be back stronger and better than ever.”

With the team struggling in recent years, some of the club’s strong junior players have moved on and Morris wants them back.

“We have got some very strong vibes from some juniors keen to come back to the area and other juniors are coming to the area.

“The committee is very confident of producing strong first-grade and strong second-grade teams next year.

Pottsville face a horror run home in the second half of the season, starting on January 9, having to face a succession of the top-placed teams.

A final-round match-up against fellow cellar-dwellers Murwillumbah, starting March 6, could decide who takes home the wooden spoon at the end of the season.

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