36 players have been named in the latest Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji Senior and Emerging Academies for the year ahead. 21 of those are in the senior ranks, with five players gaining elevation from last year’s Emerging squad.
They are Rush top-order batsman Stephen Doheny, North County pace-man Fionn Hand, Ballyspallen all-rounder Graham Kennedy, Merrion opening bowler Max Neville and Ireland U19 captain Harry Tector, an off-spinner and top order batsman with YMCA and Munster Reds.
Other new faces in the squad include left-arm spinners Ross Allen and Tom Stanton along with emerging fast bowlers David Delany and Aaron Cawley. Six of the senior Academy squad have international experience with James Shannon, Simi Singh, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Sean Terry and Lorcan Tucker all capped at senior level.
As well as international honours the Academy was rewarded with individual honours for James Shannon, Simi Singh and Harry Tector at the Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards 2017, while Academy Coach Ryan Eagleson was awarded Coach of the Year.
There are no fewer than 12 new additions to the Emerging group, five of whom will be representing Ireland Under 19’s in the World Cup next month in New Zealand. They are Phoenix all-rounder Ian Anders, Coleraine leg-spinner Varun Chopra, Pembroke’s talented all-rounder JJ Garth, Rush batting prodigy Neil Rock and Clontarf batsman Andrew Vincent.
Academy Manager Peter Johnston is really pleased with this years intake of players saying: “We have two really strong Academy groups. It’s great to see the potential in the Emerging group while the Senior Academy contains some exciting athletes who are pushing hard for opportunities with the Wolves and senior team. Indeed, with central contracts still to be announced in the New Year, there is a chance one or two players may move up into the senior squad then.
“Every year the bar gets raised and we are developing good depth covering all bases. While our programme offers a great deal of support, ultimately it comes down to the athletes to take ownership and they should not see their efforts as a sacrifice, but as a positive decision to be the best they can be at their sport and play against the best in the world.”
The Senior and Emerging Academy train weekly on a regional basis in North County, Jordanstown, and Bready with the support of Ryan Eagleson and Ian McGregor. In addition to these sessions specialist guest coaches are brought in for skill set weekends throughout the winter. There are also a number of educational sessions, drawing from other sports, sport psychology and wellbeing. While Academy players follow fitness programs put in place by lead Strength and Conditioning Coach Brendan Connor.
There will be an Easter Academy training camp at the European Centre in La Manga, followed by a Wolves tour to the West country to play Bath and Gloucestershire. The final stages are also being compiled for a busy summer programme at all levels.
“This pre-season formula certainly helped many of our players to kick-start their season and have momentum going into the domestic season, and I don’t see next year as being any different. With so many exciting Irish and Wolves fixtures planned for next summer, along with our First-Class domestic Provincial competition there has never been a better time to be an emerging player.”
Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji Senior Academy
Ross Allen, Rory Anders, Aaron Cawley, David Delany, Stephen Doheny, Shane Getkate, Fionn Hand, Tyrone Kane, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, James McCollum, Robert McKinley, Max Neville, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Nathan Smith, Tom Stanton, Harry Tector, Jack Tector, Sean Terry, Lorcan Tucker.
Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji Emerging Academy
Ian Anders, Varun Chopra, JJ Garth, Gavin Hoey, James Hunter, Kyle Magee, Reece Malone, Oliver Metcalfe, Cian Nulty, Marcus Poskitt, Neil Rock, Sean Stanton, Alex Stiles, Mitchell Thompson, Andrew Vincent.