Dylan says goodbye to Coast club
IF there were more cricketers like Dylan Bibby, the future of the sport in the Rockhampton district would be as assured as Don Bradman dispatching a poor delivery to the boundary.
But the reality is there are fewer and fewer committed to the game.
Dylan is likely to play his first game for new club Brothers today after the shock withdrawal of the Capricorn Coast’s A-grade side this week.
While Dylan, one of the region’s top batting prospects, has to deal with playing for a new team, Rockhampton cricket bosses remained confident they wouldn’t have to draw stumps on the region’s premier competition.
As well as the coast club folding, another club has admitted it is struggling to field a competitive side.
Cricket observers say the competition is a shadow of what it was just a decade ago.
The situation follows a Morning Bulletin report three months ago which detailed how a number of winter sports, including some football codes, were struggling because of a shortage of numbers as leisure-loving athletes gave team sports the boot.
Yesterday Dylan said he was disappointed that the club he’d played at since he was seven had pulled out of the top-grade.
“It’s shocking,” Dylan, 19, said.
“I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but I guess it had to because some games we only had nine players out there.
“That’s not fair on anyone.
“But I want to play A-grade and so I’ve sought a switch.”
He admitted team morale was down at the coast with players struggling to be enthusiastic after the side copped a number of heavy losses.
According to the coast’s Rick Jones it is getting ever harder to find people in a position and willing to put in the hard yards to take on a committee role.
He said it was hard for a club to run when things fell back onto a small group of volunteers and without a strong committee and junior base any club would have its challenges.
Rick said he’d had to step down from his committee position this year because of a work transfer to Emerald.
Meanwhile a spokesman for Norths Tigers, which is also struggling, yesterday laid out the welcome mat for any of the Capricorn Coast’s other top young players who wanted to continue playing A-grade to join his club.
Eddie Doherty said it would be a tragedy to lose promising youngsters from the game and his club was in desperate need of players committed to A-grade as it worked to field a competitive team.
He said players were opting to play lower grades because it was less of a time commitment each weekend. “We will see the season out... (but) at the moment we’re not competitive,” Eddie said.
Despite this week’s setback, Rockhampton Cricket chairman Richie Purcell Senior said he was confident the season would be played out. A new draw is being compiled for the four clubs left in the competition.
At the moment we’re not competitive