RILEY Ayre went to Wollongong with the Central North Zone Under 21 side for the Country Colts Carnival today with an extra spring in his cricketing step.
The Denman teenager, who has been playing his club cricket with South Tamworth in the NICU Tamworth first grade competition this season, has been selected in the National Under 18 Talent Squad.
Players were identified by the Youth Selection Panel in conjunction with the State Talent Managers, following the National Under 17 and Under 19 Championships.
The selected players will take part in the upcoming Under-18 Talent Camp, which will run from February 10-14 at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
The talent camp will expose the 26 players to the national system for the first time and will see them undergo a range of tests, specialist skills training, psychological profiling, education sessions as well as matches, under the management of specialist coaches.
“The Youth Selection Panel has chosen a very exciting group of young cricketers to participate in the Under-18 Talent Camp,” Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said .
“This is an exciting opportunity for these youngsters who will experience the life of a professional cricket player for a few days as they are put through their paces at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
“Apart from testing, they will play two games, including a T20 match on the same pitch as that used by Australia and West Indies.
“The players selected in the Talent Squad are all in the line for selection in three Australia Under-19 Series this year and the ICC Under-19 World Cup.”
The players will also be given the opportunity to spend time with the Australian team ahead of its T20 match against the West Indies.
They will attend a training session, watch the match at the Gabba and spend time with the team in the change rooms following the match.
This Talent Squad will also form the squad for the 2014 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in February 2014.
2012-13 UNDER 18 TALENT SQUAD. Batsmen: Jake Doran NSW, Thomas Leaver WA, Ben McDermott QLD, Jaron Morgan WA, Damien Mortimer NSW, Matt Short VIC, Kelvin Smith SA, Cameron Steele WA, Sean Willis TAS. Fast Bowlers: Ben Ashkenazi VIC, Gabe Bell TAS, Josh Dunning WA, Matthew Fotia VIC, Jeremy Maher NSW, Jack Prestwidge QLD, Jack Pudney SA, Billy Stanlake QLD, Cameron Valente SA, Guy Walker VIC. Spinners: Tom Andrews NT, Riley Ayre NSW, Soumil Chibber NSW, Daniel Fallins NSW, Joel Logan NT. All-Rounder: Alex Gregory SA. Wicket-Keeper: Tom Healy QLD