CENTRAL North Zone’s female junior cricketers might be better off than their male counterparts.
Luke Knight heads the CNZ’s Cricket NSW Girls Academy coaching staff.
He’s been doing it for four years and loves every minute of it.
He also loves the fact he is able to attract specialist coaches to the various training sessions the CNZ Under 18 and 15 squads have throughout the year.
On Saturday, 30-odd young female cricketers attended selection trials at Farrer Memorial Agricultural College.
From those trials two squads will be selected to train together over the off-season.
“The girls’ program is a little more advanced than the boys,” Knight said.
“We are able to get specialist coaches from Sydney to attend sessions.
“Women’s cricket has come a long way and is still growing and still has a lot of growth.
“The girls work hard too.
“It doesn’t come naturally to them as it does with boys.
“It takes a while for them to come out of their shell.
“Most of these girls play with the boys in their local comps and in rep cricket too so it’s harder on them.
“But they have a point to prove.
“All the girls here today are worthy of being here.
“Indeed, four of them (Kareena Dawson, Jess Davidson, Alyssa Ford and Lara Graham) are off to Darwin to play in the national primary championships. I’m also involved with the Country side.”
Knight is coach of the Country Under 15 side.
“Last year we beat City, the first time in seven years,” he said.
“And we had one player picked in the State team.
“We’re looking for more success again this year, follow on from that and get another couple in a State side.”
CNZ has eight training sessions over winter followed by a weekend at Kempsey playing North Coast and Newcastle zones before the October long weekend Country Championships.
North West boys dominate the CNZ Academy Squad.
Trials were held at Farrer on April 22 where Cricket NSW Youth Program Manager Michael MacLennan oversaw a training and selection trial.
With former CNZ and North Coast Under 19 coach Jeff Cook and local CNZ coaches, including CNZ Academy coach Rod Bryant,they selected 24 boys to begin a new program in July.
That program consists of five training days and two matches.
CNSW ACADEMY CENTRAL NORTH ZONE (Tamworth unless named): 19s - Matt Everett, Will Chesterfield. 18s - James Psarakis, Ryan Hansen, Jake Brayshaw (Narrabri). 17s - Brandon Smith (Maitland), Pat Magann (Maitland), Jamie Krake (Maitland), Max Hillier (Singleton), Jack Richards, Lachlan Elks (Armidale). 16s- Ryan Meppem (Narrabri), Tom Scoble (Inverell), Scott Palombo (Moree), Lachlan Davidson (Tamworth). 15s - Jye Paterson, Caleb McNeil (Muswellbrook), Coby Cornish (Narrabri), Paddy Montgomery (Moree), Jaiden Tasker (Inverell), Tyson Rennie. 14s - Tom Brooks (Scone), Henry Smith (Armidale), 13s - Henry Sindel (Armidale).