A Tallangatta schoolboy will miss the weekend’s CAW district grand final due to the national under 15 championships.
Kiewa’s Ryan Bartel will play for the Victoria Country team in Brisbane.
“I was quite disappointed on Sunday when we had won and got into the grand final and it was quite disappointing that I couldn’t play with all the boys,” he said.
“But, ah well, when you’ve got an opportunity to play for your State you’ve got to take it.”
The 14-year-old grabbed his best figures of the season in snaring 3-24 against Yackandandah.
Kiewa will face Mount Beauty in the district decider.
He’s just come off another grand final, playing in Tallangatta’s under 16 outfit, which fell to East Albury.
“Well, it’s a lot higher level of cricket compared to the 16s,” Bartel said.
“It’s helped me a lot through my cricket because a lot of the senior boys have played a fair bit now and I can pick their brains and get plenty of ideas off them.
“Bowling to an A grade batsmen compared to a 16s batsman, you have to be a lot more tactical how you go about it.”
And it’s that cricket nous which is a standout.
“He’s very energetic, very mature,” Victoria Country coach Rhys Adams said.
“To have a mature conversation is a really positive thing at that age when you’re dealing with under 15s, it’s quite tactical at national level.
“We’re going to use him as an opening bowler, but probably one of his biggest skills is as a death bowler.
“He’s the type of guy we’ll use in the last five or 10 overs, he’s very consistent, yorker, good slower ball, so he’s very valuable to us.
“It’s quite an emotional thing when you’re faced with a guy who’s trying to whack the ball, the field’s spread and we noticed if you can get a kid with that ability early on, it just changes the way your team plays.”
At 182 centimetres, the Year Nine Tallangatta Secondary College student also packs a punch with the bat.
“He whacks it, he’s a strong country kid that we’re going to use anywhere from number seven down,” Adams said
“He’s quite technically good, but at that size and maturity levels, we’ll just get him to whack balls.”
An Australian under 16 team will be named after the tournament, which starts on Saturday.
That team will contest the national under 17 titles and also play a series later against a junior Pakistan outfit.
Adams says it’s hard to gauge, at this stage, whether Bartel would be a strong contender to win that selection, but a powerful carnival would prove a stepping stone to higher honours.