THE North West U13s side for this weekend’s Central Northern Invitational Challenge is a good mix of bowling and batting talent.
That was the assessment of coach Chris Paterson ahead of their games against Northern Tablelands, Hunter and North Coast.
“It’s a nice mix,” Paterson said.
They came together as a group for the first time last Sunday and showed good promise.
It was the first time Paterson had seen some of the players.
He didn’t get to see a lot of the other North West sides last year, with his Tamworth 12s side playing in the Hunter Valley competition, but he liked what he saw.
“We’ve got a good cross-section,” he said.
“We’ve got kids from Moree, Narrabri, Coonabarabran as well as Tamworth.”
One thing that did strike him is their batting strength.
“It’s a very strong batting side for that age,” he said.
“Usually their bowling is strong.”
Among the leading lights with the bat will be two of his Tamworth side from last season in Tyson Rennie and Jye Paterson.
“They both had good seasons,” Paterson said.
And the runs to show for it, with Paterson amassing over 300 runs and Rennie 200 for the season.
“Will Robinson (Moree) looks a very solid batter,” Paterson said.
He’ll probably open with Coonabarabran’s Nick Willoughby.
Willoughby has been in the side for a couple of years.
Paterson also has two keeping options, with Narrabri’s Coby Cornish and Tamworth’s AJ Pretorious both handy with the gloves and bat.
The attack will be spearheaded by Moree’s Percy Montgomery.
“He’s got a really nice action and bowls fast for his age,” Paterson said.
He is on the younger side of the age group but probably the tallest player in the side.
Jack Diebold and Kyle Cullen will also be a big part of the attack, as will Toby Whale.
“He’s a good leg-spinner,” Paterson said.
He said the weekend was a good opportunity for them to see where they are at.
“It’s their first get-together as far as North West goes, and a stepping stone to the Kookaburra Cup next year,” he said.
Most of the side were part of the winter training program either through the Tamworth centre or the western base.
The Tamworth contingent has been training for about a month.
North West plays Northern Tablelands first up followed by Hunter on Sunday.
Paterson knows a bit about them. Most of the side would have been involved in the 12s competition last year.
“They’ll be strong,” he said.
“There’s some good kids down there.
“We also know some of the boys from the PSSA last year from North Coast.”
“They’ve got a good wicket-keeper-batsman coming over.”