After enjoying home carnival success last year, the Tamworth under 15s are hoping for a repeat performance at this week’s Walter Taylor Shield Carnival.
The annual under 15s carnival gets underway in Armidale on Tuesday and will pit Tamworth against the Armidale number two side.
“We’re looking forward to it,” co-coach Behe Maher said.
He said they should have the core of the side that thrashed Hawkesbury in last years Tamworth Under 14s Carnival final, but did note that they will be without quick Will Burnett.
“A big, tall fast bowler”, he will leave a hole in the attack.
Maher and co-coach Peter Graham still have plenty of options at their disposal.
Josh Attard, who was man of the match in the final last year with 4-6, Joey Mead, Oscar Spinks and Jess Davidson will lead the pace side of things while Jayden Betts will handle the spinning duties.
Maher remarked on the great season Betts is having.
“He’s been working hard on his bowling and reaping the rewards,” he said.
Playing as Tamworth Gold in the Northern Inland under 16s competition, they have only lost the one game so far and were 50 run winners over Narrabri in their last outing.
“All the players in the team have been carrying out there roles,” Maher said, adding that if they can continue to do that this week they should be competitive.
It will be a different challenge playing four days straight, but most of the side have played at carnivals before so know what to expect.
Maher said they don’t really need to do anything different to what they have been and spoke about building partnerships and valuing their wickets.
Their fielding has also been a real strength in recent games. They’ve caught well and have been generally pretty sharp in the field.
Having worked a lot on their fielding at training, as coaches Maher said that has been pleasing to see.
“That’s the mentality we’ve been encouraging – how they train is how they play and they’ve been doing that very well,” he said.
They will be without the third member of the coaching brains trust with Peter Mead in Barooga with the NSW PSSA boys side.