Five of Armidale’s junior cricketers will pull on the red for Central North at various carnivals throughout summer after impressing in their representative trials.
Sam Johnson and Ryan Simpson made the cut for the region’s under 14 Kookaburra Cup squad when the teams were announced on Sunday.
The Kookaburra Cup will be played in Armidale from January 8-11 with teams from the country zones heading to the town to compete.
It will follow the annual Walter Taylor Shield under 15 carnival.
Jackson Gwynne was named for the under 18s who will play a carnival in Tamworth in December.
Nick Page and Henry Sindel will turn out in the under 16 side for the Bradman Cup in Bathurst on January 15-18.
For Page, it will be a step up with the youngster a year behind his teammates.
“I was a bit surprised and excited to be honest,” he said.
“I didn’t trial that well and I am a year younger than all the boys there.”
The players won’t find out if they make the final cut to pull on the pads until closer to the carnival date.
“I hope I will be playing. I will train hard [in the lead up],” Page said.
In related news, Glen Innes’ best senior cricketers are preparing to take on Northern Inland’s top teams when the Connolly Cup begins this Sunday.
The region’s second-tier representative competition will see Glen Innes travel to play at Armidale’s Rologas Fields to take on their second XI in the opening round.
Andrew Symons will captain the side for the 2017-18 season and said there is plenty of youth and enthusiasm among the squad.
"We have a mixture of experience and young gun players,” he said.
“We are looking pretty good as long as we get our full strength side on the paddock, that's the biggest thing, trying to get everyone to commit to play every week.
“We have some very handy bowlers and some more than capable batsmen.
“Everyone is in a bit of form at the moment too with the games we have played so far this year so it is looking pretty good.”
Armidale have called upon a similar line-up to their visiting opponents with some of the town’s young stars padding up alongside experienced heads.
Symons said his team can’t afford to falter in any area of their game if they want to make an impact in the competition.
“You need everyone to perform otherwise if you are not bowling well and the batsmen really click it is too hard to come back from,” he said.
“You need everyone to field well, you can save a lot of runs in the field or you can let a lot go. As long as we take the catches it is alright.”
Glen Innes: Ian Law, Matt Campion, Ritesh Shikhawat, Andrew Hodgson, Andrew Symons (c), Daniel Holley, Luke Hodgson, Jack Symons, Greg Wilkins, Jake Baker, Brendan Jillet, Nathan Purvis, Toby Shannon.
Armidale: Clarrie Moran (c), Nathan Street, Andy Bartik, Andy Benetti, Mitch Gwynne, Brandon Landsborough, Dan Hogan, Mitch Frost, Will Green, Nick Farrar, Sean Skinner.