Captain on alert for strange duel
THUNDER captain Aaron Nugter is both excited and nervous.
The reason is he is set to face his former team, Northsiders, for the first time in Ipswich Division One cricket.
When Northsiders pulled out of last season's Division One competition Nugter joined his little brother Tobias at fledgling club Thunder.
But with a team of close friends still playing for the Tigers, who returned to the top grade this year, Aaron Nugter's mixed emotions are understandable.
"It's going to be strange," he said.
"I've never had to play against my best mates before."
Nugter is not expecting a round of hugs before play starts from his former teammates however.
Rather, he expects a tough game of cricket with more than a few verbal volleys thrown his way.
"They're a pretty tough team," Nugter said.
"They'll be aggressive, no doubt.
"If we can get through their top and middle order we might be in business.
"They'll always give you chances.
"It will be good for our young guys.
"Every game is a challenge."
Last season was a challenge for the Thunder, their first in the top grade.
But when several of their best young players departed for the Ipswich Logan Hornets this season it made it tough for the Thunder to progress.
They are yet to win a game this season and have suffered some heavy defeats.
But their youth ensures they bounce back and remain optimistic.
Nugter's main task is to ensure they remain positive in the middle.
"We're losing wicket in clumps," he said.
"We need to change our mind sets.
"Players need to say, 'It's up to me,' and try and build partnerships.
"We've got to break the shackles and play our natural games.
"We also have to learn to bowl one side of the wicket.
"We've been way too loose.
"But our fielding has been good."
There have been positive signs; it is just going to naturally take time to come to fruition.
Toby Janke has shown signs of developing into a quality opening batter, enabling Nugter to strengthen the middle order.
And 14-year-old Harry Blund could be anything.
"He impressed the Laidley boys big time," Nugter said.
GAME DAY FIXTURES
IWMCA Div 1, Round 5, Day 1
- Swifts v Central Districts at Ivor Marsden 4
- Laidley v Brothers at Bichel Oval
- Thunder v Northsiders at Tivoli 1