Albany Junior Cricket quietly confident

TIM EDMUNDSGreat Southern Herald

Albany Junior Cricket Association will enter the annual Junior Country Week cricket tournament quietly confident of reclaiming A-section honours for the first time since 2010 despite losing one of their most important players to injury.

Albany’s first XI has been forced to make one late change with opening bowler Dylan Holt unable to shrug off an ankle injury sustained at the Under-16 regional carnival in December.

However coach Brett Wolfe believes his side could still challenge yardsticks Bunbury and Busselton-Margaret River for the title with plenty of players ready to step up.

“Bunbury will be the big test but I’m quietly confident,” Wolfe said.

“We will miss Dylan Holt but we have a ready-made replacement in Jack Batchelor.”

Fellow left-armer Batchelor comes into the side after impressing at the regional carnival while representing the Wheatbelt, dismissing many of his new teammates in a devastating spell.

Wolfe said he would look to the squad’s two most experienced players, opening batsmen Corey Rogers and Matt Wolfe, to set the example, while Jordyn Pietrala, Jack Stevens and Batchelor would be important bowling options.

Critical of the Twenty20 format introduced into the competition last season, Wolfe believes his side is better prepared this campaign, with Twenty20 matches now played regularly in the under-17s competition.

Albany will begin the week with two Twenty20 matches on Monday before four 50-over matches.

Albany’s 2nd XI will play in D-section and look to bounce back from last season’s disappointing result after losing all five matches in C-section, while Albany 3 will look to develop in E-section.

AJCA president Adam Tetlow said all teams had prepared well for the carnival, having trained for the past seven weeks.

Local seam bowler Jacob Muir will play for the Indigenous XI having been selected in their inaugural junior squad, which will contest B-section.

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