Central North's title bid in good hands

CENTRAL North’s quest for this weekend’s Country Colts Championship in Coffs Harbour this week will be led by Northern Inland Cricket Council’s Colt of the Year.

James Psarakis, who was named the NICC’s Colt Of The Year last Sunday, skippers a “pretty good side”.

“A number of the players from the Bradman Cup-winning side from two seasons ago are in it, very similar to that,” Psarakis said.

“They will all handle it well. We have a lot of experience.”

He was delighted with his Colt Of The Year Award.

“It’s been a good season for me – making the NSW 17s was the highlight of course.

“Playing in the Australian Under 17’s was a great experience.

“It was great to play at that high level – you could feel the momentum shifts.”

Psarakis skippers a side which plays Southern first up today and has a strong side which includes wicketkeeper Matt Everett and fellow Tamworth first graders Leo Steyn, Layne Berry, Matt Kent and Will Chesterfield.

Also included are Hunter Valley’s Rigby Vane-Wood, Giles Manley, Jaymes Thomas, Jayden Park and Pat Magann.

Magann has also been selected to attend the annual 2014 Country Boys Coaching Class along with 14-year-old Narrabri allrounder Ryan Meppem.

That Coaching Class will be held in Sydney from April 11 to 14, with three days of intensive skills work, fitness and game awareness at Blacktown.

The Coaching Class will be split into two teams after the first day and games will be played against the combined W Green Shield sides.

Meppem, who turns 15 in May, was one of the leading wicket-takers in the Bradman Cup Country Under 16 Championships held in Maitland and Singleton earlier this season.

“He’s thrilled to be going,” said Tony Meppem, Ryan’s father.

“It’s going to be good for him to have a taste of the higher level and the level of commitment needed.”

COUNTRY COACHING CLASS: Zac Abel, Russell Wheaton (Central Coast), Pat Magann, Ryan Meppem (Central Northern), Kain Flynn-Duncombe, Toby Flynn-Duncombe, Callum Waldock (Illawarra), Griffin Lea, Jason Sangha (Newcastle), Alec Baldwin, Max Bryant, Stuart Frost, Lewin Maladay (North Coastal), Todd Marshall, Jordan Neill, Michael Whiting (Riverina), Jarrod Collis, Charlie Dummer, Dylan Palmer-Quigg Sam Skelly, Corey Spink (Southern), Daniel Donato and Tom Galvin 

(Western).

CENTRAL NORTH COLTS: James Psarakis (capt), Matt Everett, Leo Steyn, Rigby Vane-Wood, Layne Berry, Giles Manley, Matt Kent, Jaymes Thomas, Jayden Park, Jono Maloney, Pat Magann, Will Chesterfield. Managers - Rod Bryant, Kel Walls, Graham Kent.

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