A slump in player numbers saw Glen Innes cricket’s senior competition reduced to four teams.
Railway Tavern have exited with no luck in securing enough players to contest the new season. Club Hotel Cavaliers, NEC Colts, Kings and Emmaville will make up this year’s tournament, starting this Saturday.
Association secretary Greg Wilkins said it was “very disappointing” and the committee did everything they could to keep five teams.
“We have lost one of the teams who has been in it for years and years,” he said.
“We held on as long as we could before we even did a draw or anything just in case they got the numbers.
“One of the teams is Emmaville so it isn't even all Glen Innes teams.”
Wilkins said the lack of players signing up doesn’t just mean they lose one senior side, as the other four will have a tough time finding 11 each week.
“In saying that, even with the four teams we are all struggling,” he said.
“We have players but a lot of those players are part-time players which has created a bit of drama for us.
“I think we expected a bit more with the wind farmers in town and things like that because they filled in for us in a few games last year and they were quite competitive, they made it quite a good season but I guess a lot of them are gone too.”
Despite the pre-season woes, the show will go on with a 30-over competition and six Twenty20 games before Christmas.
There isn’t a junior competition in Glen Innes but young and aspiring cricketers have the chance to try the sport with the Milo In2Cricket program running of a Friday afternoon.
As with the seniors, the junior program hasn’t had the numbers coordinator Shad Bailey had hoped for.
“It hasn't taken off as I thought it may have but we are getting more interest. There hadn't been junior cricket in town for eight or 10 years so we are just trying to get it up and running and have a bit of an outlet for the kids to be able to play in town rather than having to travel to Armidale or Inverell to play junior cricket,” he said.
The program is for five through to 12-year-olds and the first day will be this week.
“There's some kids in it who are nine and 10 who haven't had much experience and go back to the junior side and some of the young kids who have played a bit of cricket join the bigger boys so it is pretty casual,” Bailey said.
“We are just doing a come and try day to see if they like it or not. It is on a Friday afternoon and the parents don't need to worry about it, they can go straight from school to the school oval.”
More info can be found at playcricket.com.au