TRENT Ball says picking a squad for the SCG Country Cup final was the hardest job he’s had as Cricket Albury-Wodonga coach.
CAW yesterday released the 13-man contingent it hopes will beat Merewether at the SCG on Sunday, February 3, with several players unlucky to miss out.
They included Wodonga’s Jack Robinson, Lavington duo Brendan Klein-Boonschate and Andrew Taylor, and East Albury’s Cameron White.
Robinson and Klein-Boonschate are reserves.
Ball said the main consideration for selection was playing in the 50-over competition this season, ruling out returning Englishman Paul Coughlin.
“Selection was tough,” Ball said yesterday.
“I wish we could pick everyone who has played rep so far but we only get to pick 12.
“So telling Jack Robinson, who performed well in Gosford, was hard.
“But that’s the 12 we think is CAW’s best chance of winning the SCG Cup.”
Ball said Tallangatta duo Nathan Thompson and Coughlin would be included in the squad for next month’s Melbourne Country Week.
Thompson was a star for CAW in its Konica-Minolta Cup campaign before his hand injury, while Coughlin, who made 281 runs and took 17 wickets last season, has played just two games since returning from the UK.
“Nathan didn’t play a SCG Cup match and neither did Coughlin; we wanted to play the guys who have played in the SCG games,” Ball said.
“We wanted to keep the guys together who went to Gosford and Canberra.
“We kept together the guys who went to Canberra, with the only change being Liam Scammell in for Brendan Klein-Boonschate.
“Cam White, Leigh Collins, Chris Bridle, Brendan Klein-Boonschate, Jack Robinson, Dylan Weeding and Ash Sutherland all played throughout our SCG Cup games, along with the 12 selected.”
CAW believes it has picked the strongest side possible for the final.
Skipper James Tonkin (426) and North Albury star Greg Daniel (425) have made more than 400 runs, while Daniel (23), Mark Butters (19) and James Weighell (16) have taken 15 or more wickets.
CAW squad: Trent Ball, Robbie Jackson, Liam Scammell, Luke Restall, James Tonkin (c), Greg Daniel, Tom Wells, Sam Drury, Ben Kohler-Cadmore, James Weighell, Ashan Ranaweera, Mark Butters, Ash Sutherland. Reserves: Jack Robinson, Brendan Klein-Boonschate.