One of the region’s best youngsters has declared he wants to push past the ‘promising’ tag at provincial level.
Liam Fitzsimmons has just returned from the Australian under 17 National Championships in Brisbane, where he opened the bowling for Victoria Country.
He took five wickets at 27, snaring a best of 3-47.
“Just the level of cricket up there, you’re playing against the best,” he enthused.
“You have to stay patient and hit the same spot every ball because if you pitch it up a little further, their batsmen will put it away.”
Fitzsimmons, who turns 17 next week, is a powerful paceman at 90 kilograms.
At representative level, he’s considered a bowler who bats, but his New City coach thinks the opposite.
“I think he’ll be very good this year, he’s come a long way since joining the first grade squad last year,” Nick McDonald said.
The teenager posted 147 runs in his debut at senior level, with a top score of 62.
He also snared nine wickets.
“I want to take it to the next level this year,” he said.
“Last year was a bit of a look around and see how it was, but, this year, I want to have a good crack.”
That will be just what New City wants to hear as it looks to work up from its second-bottom finish.
And the coaching staff is also banking on a fellow young gun making an impact.
“We really want Callum Langlands to break into the top 15 players in the competition,” McDonald said.
“He’ll concentrate on his batting in the top four or five and he’s a pretty handy leg-spinner as well.”
The Phoenix thinks so highly of Langlands, he’s been appointed vice-captain at just 20.
“Yes, absolutely (we think he will handle it),” McDonald said.
“He’s got a lot of people around him who can guide him in the right direction and he’s coming along really well.”
Langlands scored 305 runs at 23, while he also snared 21 wickets.
New City starts its season at home against Albury.