Coffs CountryCup opener
By MITCHELL DALE
COFFS Harbour cricket selectors have plumped for youth in naming the first Country Cup side of the season to meet Macleay Valley at Kempsey tomorrow.
Captain Craig Haworth said young players have been given the chance to show they are ready to permanently step up to representative cricket.
"We have tried to stick with a young side, so we'll see how we travel," Haworth said yesterday.
"Troy Herbert and Daniel Fuller went well last year so they have been given another go and Mick Lawrence is getting another run.
"Even though a lot of them are young, they are pretty experienced; most of them are in their third or fourth season of first grade."
The youth selection policy indicates a changing of the guard, with Haworth, a former Australian Country batsman, indicating his plans to stop playing representative cricket in the near future.
"Hopefully I will be able to step down soon," he said.
"My knees are pretty sore, I doubt if I will last the (representative) season.
"Hopefully the young blokes will be able to step up and show they can take over."
Haworth admits to knowing little about Macleay Valley, but is nonetheless confident Coffs can progress to the second round of the knockout competition.
"I haven't seen any Kempsey players in the North Coast side for two or three years," he said.
"In the past we haven't had any problems getting through the first round, it is the game after we tend to struggle.
"I don't know why, I just don't think we back ourselves as we go on through the competition.
Coffs Harbour v Macleay Valley: Craig Haworth (c), Matt Rose, Todd Gill, Mark Haworth, Brad Greenshields, Troy Herbert, Justin Gilbert, Mickey Lawrence, Daniel Fuller, Matt Francis, Grant Rowe.