Six junior cricketers will be permanent fixtures in a new Naracoorte senior team known as the “Wortley Warriors”.
The under 17s boys got their first taste of senior action and played as part of the Warriors team who debuted in the Naracoorte District Cricket Association on Saturday.
Warriors senior team member Luke Munro believes having the youngsters in the squad will reignite interest and keep players for a possible new junior league.
“We don’t have a colts (junior league) anymore so it’s promoting the younger players to get back into playing,” Luke said.
He believes the new team will even up the competition with the previous combined Naracoorte team – which will continue to play as the “Townies” – winning the last three consecutive premierships.
Juniors Will Walker, Aden Burzacott, Dylan Donoghue, Josh Bull, Jacob Edward and Harry Schroder all got a chance to play in the opening round.
The 15-man squad held three preseason training sessions before taking the field on the weekend, narrowly losing to their Padthaway opponents in a promising first-up effort.
Luke said it will be a learning opportunity for the juniors and may take some time for the team to assess where it sits in the association pecking order.
“It’s still going to be cricket as usual and a chance for the juniors to play in the (higher) league,“ he said. “After the first few games we’ll see where we are."
The 15/16-year-olds are expected to hone their skills and work on the basics of cricket as the season progresses.
Luke praised the attitudes from the emerging talents at trainings and their eagerness to compete in each match.
The Warriors make-up a seven team league after the withdrawal of the Edenhope side.
The other teams are Townies, Devils (both Naracoorte-based), Kybybolite, Lucindale, Padthaway and Borders/Apsley.