Croquet star Don Close is not just aiming to direct this shot but also he is after re-selection to the Queensland team.
Croquet star Don Close is not just aiming to direct this shot but also he is after re-selection to the Queensland team. Allan Reinikka

State team improves performance

GRACEMERE'S Don Close is as good a croquet player as you could find in Central Queensland but even he has to admit his game is still a work in progress.

Close gained selection to the Queensland team two years ago and followed that up this year by competing in the Individual and Team competitions at the national event at Hobart recently.

“In the individual championship I was fourth and in the team event third where we struggled against Victoria and New South Wales,” he said.

The gap, however, is closing with Queensland battling hard.

“All games could have gone either way except against Victoria who were too powerful,” Close added.

In the teams event each State has eight players consisting of four men and four women and, for Close, the one thing he was happy to note was a big improvement from his previous outing in a Queensland team.

“My play has improved from the experience,” he noted.

Most satisfying game for Close was against the South Australians.

“They are very strong but we performed well against them,” he said.

Anyone who thinks croquet is easy should try playing over an extended period where concentration must be maintained through each day.

“I was happy at the way I went, I matched others in the Queensland team,” he said.

However, Close is very competitive and still wants to improve.

“I had the capacity to do better,” he admitted.

Now the quest is to gain selection for the 2012 state team at the national championship and that work begins almost immediately.

“I go to a Queensland event at Brisbane in a fortnight,” he said.

Selectors will be in attendance.



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