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Lack of players leads to Miners recess


SEEN BETTER DAYS: While the Miners previously had three senior teams, including the 2013/2014 A Grade premiership-winning side, a player drought has meant the club needs to take a step back and reassess their future.

DANIEL RENFREY 

 

THE Wonthaggi Miners have gone into recess heading into the 2019 Leongatha and District Cricket Association season.

The club, which once had three separate senior teams, has experienced an increased lack of playing numbers, leading to the recess.

Leongatha and District Cricket Association Secretary, Gary Adams, believes a lack of junior participation in Wonthaggi, and in Gippsland cricket, has had a big impact on potential playing numbers.

“Unfortunately, Miners haven’t had junior teams for about three seasons, which makes it difficult to develop players to fill out the senior sides,” he said.

“It’s always a worry when you see clubs in that situation because you wonder how it impacts long-term viability of the club.”

“We’re concerned because we have less juniors playing cricket each year, and the same is happening in football and a lot of other sports.”

The Miners have perhaps taken this issue the hardest out of any club, with a lack of juniors for multiple years having a direct impact on their player availability.

However, while the club has assessed the need to step back for the time-being, it still aims for a return in the future.

“The Miners are hoping to rebuild again and haven’t disbanded, which is good,” Adams said.

“Wonthaggi is our biggest town but it has the least number of kids playing cricket, so it’ll be a difficult road back.”

“Some of their players have already put in for clearances to go to other teams as well.”

  In order to assist in tackling the issue of decreased junior numbers, the LDCA has looked to restructuring the competition format and rules to appeal to young players.

 “We’re looking at making changes to the junior formats and changing rules around a little bit to make sure these juniors want to be playing,” Adams said.

“Right now only eight of the 14 clubs with senior teams have an U16s team and there’ll be 11 U14s and U12s teams; ideally every club would have an U16s, U14s and U12s team.”

In terms of how the Miners missing this season will impact the LDCA competition, both A Grade divisions will see even teams, which Adams believes could be a positive.

“There are eight sides in Division One and six in Division Two this year, meaning players will be playing every week without a bye, which should help them,” he said.

“We still really hope that Miners can build back up down the line though, because it is a real disappointment for such a big town to struggle.”

Only time will tell if the Miners can begin to grow their numbers again and help to revitalise cricket in the region.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30041

Posted by on Sep 13 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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