12-man Warriors Squad named
The NWCU has revealed its 12-man squad for this year’s revamped Interprovincial series and as expected there are only a couple of new faces on the panel.
The core of the squad remains from last year with Irish internationals Andy McBrine, Boyd Rankin, William Porterfield and Craig Young. They are joined by Ireland Wolves players Graham Hume, Graham Kennedy, Ross Allen and Nathan McGuire. Bready’s Conor Olphert and Coleraine’s Will Smale, also return for the Warriors.
Stephen Doheny comes in and his addition will also bolster a top order that struggled for consistency last season. The 22-year old is moving from Rush to Merrion to play his club cricket this season and despite his age, brings a solid CV having also cemented his place with the Ireland Wolves and was in the senior Ireland squad for last year’s T20 series against Afghanistan in India.
The other ‘debutant’ is Shane Getkate, the Instonians all-rounder who will bring a wealth of experience to the North West. He’s another Irish international who has played at the top level in various conditions and could be the steadying influence needed in the middle order. Shane has recently started to make his way in the coaching field as well, however his focus remains on playing and the 29-year old will add both quality and grit to his new team.
The 12 will be joined by another 4 local players to be selected by the NWCU, and these will be named shortly. Training has already began for the Senior Cricket Ireland contracted players at Bready and subject to Covid regulations it is hoped the rest of the squad are permitted to join in training next month.
The ‘Emerging Warriors’ squad (which will be entirely North West based) will be named shortly and they too will train at Magheramason, once Covid restrictions allow.
Ian McGregor, North West Warriors Head Coach, said:
“Last season was very frustrating for the Warriors, however, we were very thankful that we at least had the opportunity to get some cricket played, and appreciated the efforts made by everyone involved in making that happen.”
“While results on the field were largely disappointing, the fact that we had so many young players gaining more experience playing at this level can be seen as a positive. At times we saw glimpses of the potential of the likes of Conor Olphert, Will Smale and Nathan Maguire. Likewise, the stock of Graham Hume continues to rise and his form quite rightly saw him gain national recognition with selection for the Wolves tour to Bangladesh.”
“Unfortunately, the Covid-19 restrictions over the off-season have meant I’ve had little or no opportunity to work with the majority of the squad, but we’ve maintained regular contact with the centrally-contracted players and those others who were involved in the extended Wolves training squad to help them all prepare for their respective tours in early 2021.”
“In 2021, the core of our squad remains consistent with last year, which fortunately allows us to build on the hard work we’ve put in. I’ve no doubt that the new faces will add huge value to the squad, having worked with both of them previously in the Cricket Ireland pathway programmes. I’m also a firm believer that you can’t afford to stand still and rest on your laurels, so any opportunity to introduce new ideas or initiatives has to be a given.”
“Looking to the season ahead, while playing more than 50% of our games would be great step up from last year, success for me as a coach is never about win or lose. I get a great deal of satisfaction from the success of my players. So seeing them improve, develop and – most importantly – enjoy their cricket is integral to my definition of success.”
The 12-man squad in full is-