The 2018 Indoor Cricket National Championships may have ended in disappointment for the NSW Country Cyclones under 21s side, but hopes are high for the region’s junior sides.
The under 21s finished fifth overall at Toowoomba last week, while Monday saw the Cyclones’ under 13s, 15s and 17s start their campaigns.
A number of the players from the 21s will feature in the 17s outfit, with Thomas Nelson being one of those.
“It was a bit disappointed how we ended,” Nelson said of the 21s.
“I think there was just some inexperience through the boys. We had eight or nine 17 year olds.
“But Kurt Prosser, he was our captain, was awesome leading us but it was just those one percenters and execution which wasn’t quite right.
“But we’ll come back. Kurt was the oldest at 19 so we’ll have two or three years together.”
There were four Dubbo players in the 21s side while Don Skinner and Greg King were the coaches.
The eventual winner of the 21s title was Queensland while South Australia Black, a side the Cyclones defeated, finished second.
The youthful core group of that NSW Country side was in action again on Monday afternoon as the Cyclones 17s side got its campaign started.
Nelson and Tom Atlee are the two Dubbo players in the 17s side, while there are a plethora of juniors in the other age groups.
As well as that, Dan French manages the 17s team.
“It’s good rolling straight into the 17s,” Nelson said.
“I’d be disappointed not to be playing on Saturday in the grand final.
“I don’t think there will be too much in it but I love the team we’ve got. We’ve got top players all over the park.”
The 17s side features a number of players who were in the team which played in the under 15s final on home soil at Dubbo two years ago.
That bodes well for this year with the likes of Nelson and Atlee alone having taken huge strides in that time.
Queensland is in the same boat, having also played in the 15s grand final two years ago, while Nelson expects Victoria to be other main threat to his side’s hopes of national glory.
In terms of lower age groups, Dubbo is represented in the under 13s by the exciting Anthony Atlee while Patty Nelson and Tom Coady feature in the 15s side.
“We’ve seen the amount of talent go through is huge in out door and indoor,” Nelson said of Dubbo.
“Someone like Tom Atlee is a superstar and Tom Coady is one of the young guys going really well.
“But it’s Ant Atlee who is one of the most promising in the 13s.”
Atlee helped the 13s to victory over Queensland in Monday’s first round.
The national junior titles run all week, with the grand finals played on Saturday.