Albany juniors upbeat ahead of country week

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Young all-rounder Charlie Walters will captain the Albany and Districts under-16s.
Camera IconYoung all-rounder Charlie Walters will captain the Albany and Districts under-16s. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany will send a youthful first XI to the annual junior country week cricket tournament starting in Perth on Monday as they look to go one better than last year.

Now representing the Albany and Districts Cricket Association, Albany finished runners-up to Geraldton in 2019 and despite fielding a young side this year, the morale around the group is high given the talent of a number of their senior players.

Charlie Walters will captain the Albany under-16 side, with Oliver Pluckhahn his deputy for the week-long carnival.

Both Walters and Pluckhahn have tasted A-grade cricket locally as have fellow teammates Ryley Valli, Jack Stephens and Angus Thompson. That group of five will be instrumental to their side’s hopes of finishing on top of the standings and securing an under-16 A-section title for the first time since 2017.

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Jim Walters will coach the under-16s and said he had great optimism for this young but talented group.

“We have got a lot of kids in the Year 9 age bracket and not so many in the Year 10s,” Walters said. “So it’s quite a youthful side but several have played senior cricket, so we are optimistic of a good carnival.

Oliver Pluckhahn is vice-captain of the under-16s.
Camera IconOliver Pluckhahn is vice-captain of the under-16s. Credit: Laurie Benson

“The team that is on top of the ladder after day four gets to play their final game on the Friday on the WACA ground, so hopefully that will be us or our opponent Bunbury. They are a great bunch of kids that all get on, work as a unit and have been training hard.”

Walters praised the volunteer work of local coach Ross Stephen, who has been assisting the group in their preparation for the past couple of months.

Albany will start their campaign in the under-16s against Peel in twin Twenty20 games on Monday before switching to 50-over games where they face Geraldton on Tuesday, Eastern Goldfields on Wednesday and then Busselton-Margaret River on Thursday.

Albany will also send a strong team in the under-14 A-section division, looking to better their second-placed finish last year.

Coached by Ryan Tindale, the Albany under-14s face West Pilbara on the opening day in two T20s, followed by a 50-over clash with Geraldton on Tuesday and then are opposed to Bunbury and Districts on Wednesday before semifinals and finals.

Jed Schwarzbach will captain the second XI with Bailey Peacock named vice-captain.

Walters said country week co-ordinator Megan Greeves had done a lot of work to get both teams up to the carnival.

Albany and Distrcits under-16 team

Charlie Walters (C), Oliver Pluckhahn (VC), Jonte Eastough, Dillan Gadean, Mohit Jaggi, Billy O’Meara, Jack Robertson, Mitchell Rowling, Andrew Smith, Jack Stephens, Angus Thompson, Ryley Valli

Albany and Districts under-14 team

Jed Schwarzbach (C), Bailey Peacock (VC), Ethan Forman, Tom Geddes, Caleb Haua, Milan Jaggi, Rory Luscombe, Troy McCahon, Jackson Ross, Lachlan Tindale, Teague Valli, Cameron Walsh

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