ANGUS McNeill starts a big six days of cricket that will see him bowling to some of the best cricketers in the state and the country at Campbelltown today.
First up for the South Tamworth quick is the U19s State Challenge where he’ll line up for the Northern Stars.
The side takes in North Coast and Central North talent and as well as McNeill will include his South Tamworth team-mates James Psarakis and Riley Ayre, West Tamworth’s Harrison Kelly, who will captain the side, and North Tamworth’s Leo Steyn.
They’ll play against other regional teams and Sydney-based teams in what is effectively a trial for the U19s state team.
McNeill and Kelly were both involved last year, and McNeill would love to take the next step and earn a state cap.
“I’ve never been involved with anything at that (state) level,” he said.
“It’d be nice to give something like that a good go.”
The Northern Stars face South Coasters today, and take on Western Rivers tomorrow before finishing with Twenty20s against City Pink and City Black on Thursday.
As soon as that’s finished McNeill will make his way to Newcastle to play for Central North in the Northern Country Championships.
They’re being held over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“I haven’t played for a senior Central North side before,” McNeill said.
Last year he played in the trial, but didn’t make the final Central North side.
He got the call-up then to the Northern Inland side only a week after making his debut for the Tamworth first XI. Now a season on he’s considered one of the zone’s frontline bowlers and will likely take the new ball.
It’s a challenge he’s looking forward to.
“It’ll be another level again. The 19s and that in one week,” he said.
“There’ll be some good batsmen there.”
“It’ll be really good to play against the Newcastle side.
“There’s a lot of good players there that should be playing first grade in Sydney.”
He warmed-up for the week by taking 2-10 from five against City United on Saturday.
It was his first bowl for a couple of weeks after picking up a side strain injury in the Central North trial.
“I didn’t fully extend it,” he said.
He just wanted to test it out and get back into some rhythm. It held up pretty well.
McNeill is pretty happy with how the season has gone so far.
“I wasn’t quite getting the wickets but it was coming out pretty well,” he said.
“It was a matter of time and refining a few things.”