Orange cricket to see benefits

ORANGE’S representative resurgence will continue, says Steve Ryan.

The town is currently going through success at a representative level not seen in some time.

In seniors the opens team currently sits fourth in the Western Zone Premier League, and third in the President’s Cup, while in the Mitchell Cricket Council Colts competition Orange sits second, undefeated through two rounds.

Ryan, Orange’s opens coach and Orange District Junior Cricket Association vice-president, says the progress of Orange’s junior teams has been crucial to the senior success.

“You only need to look at our senior players to see why,” he explained.

“Almost all of our opens are eligible in colts for two or three more years, and some of our colts can still play under 16s. The amount of talent we have, and have had over the past few years, in our juniors is incredible.”

Ryan said the ODJCA’s focus has long been on development, and the strategy is starting to pay off.

“We’ve been running camps, carnivals and courses for the past few years to make sure our juniors keep getting better,” he said.

“Now that some of the kids who went through that are getting older and filtering into senior representative cricket, we’re beginning to see the results.

“Guys like Toddy Murphy, Charles Litchfield and Liam Gough are proof of this type of thing. The juniors are doing well, and we’re in pretty good stead for the next four or five years.”

Orange’s under 16s team is currently undefeated and sitting 12 points clear atop the MCC table, while the 14s are second, and the 12s are third.

Ryan highlighted Orange’s under 16s team as crucial to the town’s colts and opens aspirations.

“Obviously the 16s will move into colts soon, and onto opens later on,” he said. “Obviously uni, and work plays a role in that and we do lose some players, but that team has a lot of good cricketers. When you consider our colts are so dominant now and our opens are improving, theoretically in four or fives years our opens team should be red hot.”

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