After winning the national championships last year, South Australia will be hoping for another strong performance as they look to go ‘back-to-back’ for the second time in 10 years.
After a relatively easy draw favoured them last year, South Australia will this year have to play three of their five games against Queensland, NSW metropolitan and Victoria, all of whom are traditionally strong competitors in the tournament.
But the South Australians will not be easily beaten, boasting an experienced batting line up with several players returning from last year’s champion side, the team’s youthful bowling attack will almost always have a good score to defend.
South Australian head coach Luke Williams is confident that this team can match it with the best in the competition after a good preparation.
“The final squad we’ve put together have been with each other for a while now, with five boys backing up from previous years, there is a real sense of comradery amongst the team,” Mr Williams said.
“We do have a harder draw this year, our team has a lot of potential but we’ll need blokes to step up and have a good carnival, we have some really exciting young bowlers and lot’s of batters with first grade and previous carnival experience, so we should do okay”.
Two of the experienced leaders that Williams is hoping will stand up are Ayden McGregor-Baptista and Patrick Page, both of whom are entering into their 3rd and final tournament.
Recently named the 2014-15 ‘community rookie’ member of the Adelaide Strikers squad McGregor-Baptista is no stranger to elite level cricket and as captain of the U17 team the promising all-rounder will provide strong stability at the top of the order whilst also contributing handily with the ball.
Vice-captain Patrick Page’s resume is equally as impressive however, with the talented top order batsmen the youngest in South Australia’s futures league team at only 16 years of age.
Coach Williams was confident that both boys would lead the team well and hopefully back it up with good performances on the pitch, but was more importantly impressed with the enthusiasm the whole team was showing towards the tournament.
“If Patrick and Ayden have a good tournament it will go a long way in helping us match our result from last year.”
“To be honest, all the boys are just really excited to get out there and test themselves against the best”.
- With Edward Keir.