Psarakis at the helm for Bradman Cup defence 

AUSTRALIAN U16 schoolboy rep James Psarakis will lead Central North in its Bradman Cup defence next year.

The South Tamworth allrounder was one of the stars of Sunday’s trial and has been named skipper of the side to contest the annual carnival at Nowra in January.

Central North will go into that as defending champions for the first time after defeating Illawarra in the final.

Psarakis will be backing up from that success along with opening partner and Australian schoolboys team-mate Max Houlahan (Moree).

The side was finalised after Northern Inland and Hunter Valley’s clash on Sunday, which saw Northern Inland get home by four runs and dominate the zone side.

Only four of the 12 are from the Hunter – vice-captain Jaymes Thomas, Jayden Park, Brandon Smith and Lucas Sargent.

They’re all from Maitland and were among the best performers on Sunday.

Thomas and Park both made half-centuries with Park also picking up a couple of wickets bowling left-arm orthodox.

Sargent is also a left armer and took four wickets, and is likely to share the new ball with Deepwater’s Perry Stapleton.

Tamworth’s Matt Dunn and Toby Fox, and Inverell’s Mitch Lennon round out the pace/medium pace options.

They’ve also got spin well covered with Park, Narrabri’s Jake Brayshaw bowling chinamens and Psarakis as an off-spinner if needed.

He’ll be one of the key cogs with the bat and is in sensational form at the moment after blasting 107 in the trial on Sunday.

Coach Rod Bryant said after the match “that it is always difficult to cut 26 talented players back to 12, but we think we have it right”.

The team will meet in Tamworth on December 9 for a practice game.

CENTRAL NORTH

 BRADMAN CUP SIDE

 James Psarakis (c), Matthew Dunn, Toby Fox, Ryan Hansen, Max Houlahan (Tamworth), Jaymes Thomas (vc), Jayden Park, Jayden Park, Lucas Sargent, Brandon Smith (Maitland), Jake Brayshaw (Narrabri), Mitchell Lennon (Inverell), Perry Stapleton (Glen Innes). Rod Bryant - Coach, Graham Kent - assistant Coach, John Kilborn - Manager

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