Incentive aplenty for North West boys at carnival

NORTH West’s U16s can press their claims for higher honours with good performances in this weekend’s Central Northern Invitational Carnival in Tamworth.

The carnival will be one of the phases in selecting the Central North Bradman Cup side.

North West will play Hunter, Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands over the three-day carnival and coach Terry Psarakis reckons they’re a good chance of taking it out.

“They’re a good bunch of cricketers and very keen,” Psarakis said.

“I’d be disappointed if we don’t do well.”

He has a “strong allround team” at his disposal and even an Australian representative.

Moree’s Max Houlahan will be using the weekend to prepare for the Australian U16s’ tour to the United Arab Emirates.

He and James Psarakis fly out on October 6.

Houlahan is now up at the Southport School and has already been among the runs.

“He scored a 90 in a trial game up there,” Psarakis said.

They’ll be relying a lot on him on the weekend, especially with long-time opening partner Psarakis playing for the Northern Inland U21s side in the Emu Colts 

carnival.

But batting should be one of their strong points, with the likes of Houlahan, Campbell Baker, Ryan Hansen, Cane Montague, Matt Dunn, Keyton Hislop and Matt Hughes.

Hislop and Hughes are both in the bottom age for the 16s.

Hughes can also keep and will be back-up to Baker.

On the bowling front, Will Burke will handle a lot of the slow overs.

“Our slow bowling will be based around Will with his right arm leg-spin,” Psarakis said.

Toby Fox has taken (James) Psarakis’s place and, after missing last season through injury, is back fresh and keen.

“He’ll be a handy allrounder,” Psarakis said.

“He bowls medium quick and is handy with the ball.”

The side was selected from a trial day late last season, and from the weekend a Central North Invitational side will be selected to play against St George at Branxton on Thursday.

“There’s plenty to play for,” Psarakis said.

They had a good session out at Farrer last Sunday spending some time batting and bowling in the nets, and fielding.

“We spent a good hour and a half fielding,” Psarakis said.

Hunter tomorrow  will likely be their biggest test.

“Hunter are always competitive in junior cricket,” Psarakis said.

“Northern Tablelands has a few good players. It depends on their depth.

“Mid North Coast is a bit of an unknown quantity.”

The four areas will also do battle in the 13s and 14s over the weekend.

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