CORONET City and Darley are locked in a tug-of-war over the services of classy batsman Allan Steenholdt in the Ballarat Cricket Association.
Darley is determined to regain Steenholdt’s services while Coronet City is standing firm in its resolve to retain him.
With Coronet City not prepared to clear him, Darley is set to go to appeal.
In a recruiting bonanza, Steenholdt joined Coronet City last season after relocating from Melton to Burrumbeet.
Steenholdt had injury concerns, but still managed two centuries on his way to a season tally of 394 runs at an average of 49.3.
Steenholdt has since moved back to Melton to live.
Darley firsts captain Matt Cape said the Lions believed they had a gentleman’s agreement with Coronet City that Steenholdt would be cleared back to his former club if he moved back to the eastern end of the competition.
Cape said Darley had been happy to clear him when he was living near Ballarat.
“We clear him straight away.”
Cape said Steenholdt was unlikely to play much before the end of the year, if at all.
Coronet City president Craig Murdoch said Steenholdt was a required player.
He said while Darley had had to clear him to Coronet City, his immediate previous club before making the move had been in Werribee.
Murdoch said there had been no agreement of any sort with Darley.
He said Coronet City had maintained close contact with Steenholdt over the off season, going as far as arranging sponsorship to cover his travelling.
Murdoch said talks also involved the possibility of Steenholdt bringing another player with him in a deal which would have included the duo’s appointment as joint captains.
“We knew he would not be able to play all games and we accepted that he would not be able to train.”
Murdoch said the last communication from Steenholdt was that he planned to take a break from cricket and play golf.
BCA secretary Don Jacobsson said last night that Darley was yet to lodge an appeal.
The BCA website indicates Darley has until Monday to lodge an appeal against Coronet City’s refusal to clear Steenholdt.