Meet the Gympie cricketers ready to fire in over 50s carnival
CRICKET: Five over-50s Gympie cricketers will make the region proud when they head to Perth on Saturday.
Rod Venn, Dane Stiefvater, Wayne Sleeman, Joe Laffey and Rod Cartwright will don the Queensland colours for the National Veterans Over 50s Carnival in division 2 and division 3 teams.
Cartwright, who has competed in three over 50s carnivals is excited about the contest.
“It is always fun, there is a good standard of cricket and some good blokes,” he said.
“We always enjoy ourselves. It’s not win at all costs but everyone likes to have a win.”
Cartwright is the only Gympie product playing in division 3 and hopes to bowl a few good lines.
“We should go pretty well and I know a few of the players - the others I haven’t played with,” he said.
“Hopefully there are a few roughies in there that sneak in that are top players and we end up with a gun side.”
Despite the team not all having a proper training session until they meet in Perth, Cartwright said they could use that to their advantage.
“That is the advantage of cricket. If it was a game of footy you would need everyone to know where everyone is running at every time and the co-ordination between players has to be a lot better,” he said.
“To some extent running between wickets needs a bit of that but it is a bit more individual.
“The captain tends to work out who has a week arm and a strong arm and puts them in the right spot for day two, three and four and who can catch and who cannot and who can run and who cannot.
“We have had one training session and the captain was specifically looking to then put people in the right spot from day one.”
Stiefvater has been playing cricket since he could walk and is happy to still be playing.
“I never thought I would get to the level of representing a state, so I have exceeded my own expectations,” he said.
“I went away for the over 50s to Orange last year but the last couple years I have started this representative cricket.
“We all watch the game on television and have heroes, so I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished, pretty chuffed.”
Going to Orange was one of the best things Stiefvater did in his life and he said he could not wait to go and play in Perth.
“Orange was great,” he said.
“I am sure Perth will be just as good.”
This will be third time Venn has donned the Queensland maroon.
“I went to Sydney in 2016 and Orange in 2018,” he said.
“I haven’t been to Perth before so it will be a great experience, and having dinner in the WACA ground and Optus Stadium.
“There are five teams from Queensland going so it is going to be a big carnival.”