Juniors’ coastal competition

The Circular Head Cricket Association will enter an Under 13 side into the Cricket North West competition this season following changes within the local association. Budding cricketers, Cooper Mallinson, 10, Jotham Saward, 11, Rylee Popowski, 11, Zac Spinks, 10, and Eli Bellinger, 11, with CHCA president Glen McLaren and Circular Head TOP Fish Colts coach Nic Bellinger look forward to the move. Picture: Ashleigh Force. 

Colts. Circular Head is looking to launch an Under 13 side in the Cricket North West competition this season following a decision to cease Circular Head Cricket Association’s U/16 roster indefinitely.

CHCA president Glen McLaren said the move would expose the region’s promising talent to an advanced league.

“We’ve had quite a few clubs in the Circular Head Cricket Association struggling for numbers and it got to a point where this was the best way to go,” McLaren said on Tuesday.

“We weren’t catering directly for Under 13s [previously] whereas this will allow us to focus on that age group.”

McLaren said he was disappointed to see the temporary resignation of the junior competition within the local roster but said the association’s priorities remain with providing young cricketers with the best opportunities possible.

Coached by Nic Bellinger, the Circular Head TOP Fish Colts will join more than a dozen sides in the coastal competition.

Bellinger said the move would allow juniors to progress.

“Playing against kids their own age – we’ve only ever offered Under 16s so this will cater for the correct age group – as well as playing with the best from along the north-west coast.”

He said the side would benefit from community and parent involvement as it enters its inaugural season.

“[We’ll] be looking for parent help with umpiring, scoring and general assistance with the team during game days,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it’s about getting kids involved in the game.”

The league’s structure will vary from CHCA’s junior competition with just nine players required to field a side and between 20 and 30 overs played each week for the 14-game roster. McLaren said this would foster the junior talent.

“The structure is a bit different to allow better opportunities to score more runs and learn the game quicker,” he said.

At the time of print, the move was pending approval however McLaren said he remained “quite positive” the TOP Fish Colts would enter the competition smoothly.

Having gained plenty of interest among local players, Bellinger and McLaren said the possibility of lodging two teams into the Cricket North West league would be welcomed.

The Circular Head Cowbiz Colts, coached by McLaren, will again join the Cricket North West roster in the U/17s.

Training for the U/13s will commence on Wednesday (October 19) at the Smithton Nets from 4.15 to 5.15pm with the roster set to begin on Sunday October 30.

For more information contact Nic Bellinger on 0429 015 496 or Glen McLaren on 0467 035 243.

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