Tallangatta youngster called into Country Week squad

CRICKET Albury-Wodonga has drafted talented Tallangatta youngster Ned McCormack into its Melbourne Country Week squad.

McCormack is one of four inclusions to the side, joining club teammate Paul Coughlin, East Albury quick Cameron White and Lavington bowler Brendan Klein-Boonschate.

St Patrick’s quick Mark Butters and star batsman Luke Restall, as well as the Crows’ English recruit Tom Wells, are unavailable for the February 18-22 tournament.

Skipper James Tonkin said McCormack, one of the competition’s best fieldsmen and a middle-order bat, was the side’s development player.

“Ned’s been involved with the squad (before), even though he hasn’t played a game,” Tonkin said yesterday.

“He won’t be in the first picked 12 but might get a game throughout the week.

“He will give us some good fresh legs in the field.

“It will be a great experience for him.”

Briton Coughlin earns a berth after playing just two games for the Bushies this season, but Tonkin said the all-rounder deserved his spot.

“He’s settled down in Australia again and he was our player of the tournament last year.

“He’s been around the group and we know what we can get with him.

“He will bowl at the top and is a strong middle-order bat.”

CAW, which has lost just one game this season, is aiming for its second piece of silverware after winning the Konica-Minolta Cup and finishing runner-up in last week’s SCG Country Cup.

But it will face stiff competition in Division 4 — the lowest grade — against Shepparton, Seymour, Warragul and Central Gippsland.

Tonkin said CAW found the division competitive last season and expected a tough fight for promotion.

The CAW representative season has been funded by CAW and prizemoney, but players will again pay their own way at Country Week.