GUNNEDAH representative cricket is set to enter a new era with a rising star set to make her debut in Gunnedah’s Connolly Cup clash with Narrabri on Sunday.
Zoe Fleming will line up in the side for the first time at Wolseley Oval, in the hopes to lead her hometown to victory.
The 16-year-old Gunnedah High School student has had a big year on the field, including going on tour with the women’s Aboriginal XI squad to England.
Gunnedah captain Blake Small said he was excited to see Fleming make her debut.
“Zoe has taken the weekend off from playing cricket in Sydney to come and play for us – it will be good to see how she goes,” Small said.
“She’s toured England and that sort of thing, so it will be very interesting to see how she adapts to a new playing environment.”
Fleming is expected to help make up a youthful middle order for Gunnedah, alongside representative regular Kaleb McIlveen.
“I think it is fair to say Zoe has taken her talent a really long way so far,” Small said.
“It’s good to see her come back and play for her home town, I’m confident it will be a good experience for her and her development.
“Her development is really important because I think she is someone who could captain this side in a couple of years.
“She certainly has that potential.”
Sunday’s side will be vastly different from the team that scored a comprehensive victory over Gwydir in their last outing.
“Injuries and unavailability of first grade guys such as Ben Irwin and Brad Jenkinson have meant we will have a few new faces in the team,” Small said.
“While the team isn’t set in stone just yet, I think it’s a good opportunity for a few of our younger players to step up and cement their spot for the rest of the summer.”
This Sunday’s Connolly Cup and War Veterans Cup fixtures remain up in the air after the region copped more than 40mm of rain this week.
War Veterans Cup captain Mitchell Swain said if side’s clash against Tamworth were to go ahead it would be “a must win”.
“There’s no doubt Tamworth always produces a quality side,” Swain said.
“That’s why they have been so dominant in this competition over the years.
“However, we beat them last year and I am confident we can perform well enough to do it again.”
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