Saturday, September 30, 2023

Queensland Cricket: T20 Max Preview – Wests

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The KFC T20 Max competition is looming and Queensland Cricket has enlisted some Premier cricket experts to run their eye over the men’s and women’s squads and outline how they are shaping up. First up, CAM VELLACOTT and ELISE HART look at Western Suburbs.

MEN

Western Suburbs will be looking to add T20 silverware to their trophy cabinet for the first time in the KFC T20 Max. Semi finalists last year, the boys from Graceville have some big name recruits and will once again be right in the mix with arguably the best interstate talent bolstering their squad.

A mixture of old and new faces fills their squad, as they welcome a wealth of emerging players and seasoned professionals for the campaign. Falling short by 10 runs in the semi final, coach Peter Steindl will be hoping his recruits can make the difference and take them all the way.

One of Western Australia’s most prodigious talents, Cooper Connelly, will be keeping in the yellow and black theme of WA when he comes east to go west. Best known for dishing out heartbreak to Brisbane Heat fans in last years KFC BBL final, Connelly’s injection as an interstate player will be huge for his side.

Bursting onto the BBL scene last year, local boy turned Tasmanian Paddy Dooley will be welcomed back to Jack McLaughlin Oval with open arms for KFC T20 Max. Fast bowler Brendan Doggett also returns to his QLD club as an interstate recruit after moving to South Australia last year, and Arjun Nair also comes back to the club.

While the big names are big, Wests will be looking for an impact from two northsiders who have chosen for a change in scenery. Harry McNeilly (previously Toombul) and Tom Campbell (previously Norths) are two terrific all round cricketers, and players to watch as they try to make a name for themselves in new colours.

Coach: Peter Steindl

Captain: TBA

Home Ground: Jack McLaughlin Oval

T20 Premierships: 0

2022 Placing: Semi Finalists

Players In: 

  • Tom Campbell (Norths)
  • Cooper Connelly (WA)
  • Brendan Doggett (SA)
  • Paddy Dooley (TAS)
  • Harry McNeilly (Toombul)
  • Arjun Nair (NSW Premier)

Players Out: 

  • Sam Truloff (Sunshine Coast)

 Players to Watch:

Steve McGiffin – In a team full of stars, McGiffin is a chronic high achiever who doesn’t necessarily receive the kudos he sometimes deserves. He bowls medium pacers which will suit the early season turf wickets, and can change the gears batting to suit the game situations. With or without the captaincy, he is a leader and will be at the forefront if Wests are to go deep in the tournament.

Tom Whitney – Playing and training with a bowler like Brendan Doggett will be the best coaching Whitney could receive. With a calm head like Doggett to lean on, expect Whitney to bowl genuine rockets and show Big Bash clubs why he deserves a BBL contract to compliment his recent Qld Bulls rookie contract. With Edwards, Dooley, Nair and Doggett all bowling, teams could go after Whitney, but the young quick might find wickets come his way due to it.

WOMEN

Western Suburbs arrive at the 2023 KFC T20 Max stage with a host of new and returning players, looking to add a sixth T20 title to the cabinet. After finishing sixh in last years T20 competition, the Westies will be eager to bounce back and elevate themselves to the powerhouse Women’s 1st Grade club they once were.

Coach Ben Maddox has recruited three familiar faces in Josie Dooley, Holly Ferling and Annie Wikman, who all return from interstate, and a new face in Annie O’Neil from South Australia.

If you’re driving along Oxley Road in August, look out, as the destructive Grace Harris will again pull on the black and gold and be looking to smack the leather to all parts of Graceville. After recently hitting 22 runs off the final over in the WPL, Wests will be hoping that Grace returns with this match winning form.

Following a five year stint at Gold Coast, the formidable Keeper-Spinner duo of Georgia Redmayne and Grace Parsons arrive at Graceville, with Redmayne to lead the side. Joining them in fresh colours is 2023 Betty Wilson Young Cricketer, Courtney Sippel, who returns after two years at Gold Coast, and 2022 Kath Smith Medalist, Ruby Strange from UQ.

Coach: Ben Maddox 

Captain: Georgia Redmayne 

Home Ground: Jack McLaughlin Oval

T20 Premierships: 2009/10; 2013/14; 2015/16; 2017/18; 2019/20 

2022 Placing: 6th 

Players In: 

  • Josie Dooley (SA) 
  • Holly Ferling (ACT) 
  • Annie O’Neil (SA) 
  • Grace Parsons (Gold Coast)
  • Georgia Redmayne (Gold Coast)
  • Courtney Sippel (Gold Coast)
  • Ruby Strange (UQ)
  • Annie Wikman (ACT) 

Players Out: 

  • Meagan Dixon (Sandgate)  
  • Erin Moran (Ipswich) 
  • Eloise Schabe (Ipswich)

Players to Watch:

Georgia Redmayne – After being named in the WBBL|08 team of the tournament, Georgia Redmayne will be a highly sought after wicket in KFC T20 Max. Returning from an achilles injury, Redmayne will be keen to impress early and and get back to her WBBL form alongside opening batting partner Grace Harris. Behind the stumps she is equally as impressive, adding stability and grunt that puts opposition batters on notice.

Courtney Sippel – No matter the level, Courtney Sippel has proven that she has the ability to dismiss any batter  in the game. After two years away from Graceville, Sippel will be keen to get her team off to a winning start in 2023 and silence any who have queried her move home. Although a right arm quick, her left handed batting skills are first class and if given the opportunity, will punish poor bowling to all parts of the ground.

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