Gunnedah Junior Cricket Association are desperately seeking players for their under-16s representative side.
With the Northern Inland Cricket Council junior season fast-approaching association president Andrew Johns said they presently only have “about six or seven players”, prompting him to put out a call to arms via social media.
“[It’s] pretty disappointing,” he said.
After winning the under-16s title for the 2017-2018 season, an exodus of players from the junior ranks left a lot of holes to fill last season.
They ended up combining forces with Narrabri and Moree, but Johns’ understanding is that Moree are linking up with Inverell for this season.
Gunnedah does boast some of the region’s top under-16s talent with Carter McIlveen and Henry Johns playing for the Northern Inland under-15s at the recent NSW Youth Championships.
With excess players in the under-14s last season they did, on rotation, have two or three players step up to help out the under-16s.
Johns said they might look to do that again to help bolster numbers but they still need more players as a starting point.
It’s not an issue confined to just Gunnedah.
“I just think it’s an Australia-wide phenomena – the older the kids get the more the kids drop off,” Johns said.
“Back in my day it is all about cricket.”
Now there are other things like work.
On a more positive note the numbers for the under-12s and under-14s are looking pretty good.
“The 12s we’re pretty well right and the 14s we should have enough,” Johns said.
“We’re looking at in the next week or two having a trial for the younger kids.”
The competition is set to start later this month.
Anyone interested can contact Johns on 0428 285 511.