Templepatrick and Cliftonville clubs coach stars of future

Some of the girls' under-13s squad with coaches Mark Thompson and Artie Campbell at the Newtownabbey Cricket Winter Academy.
Some of the girls' under-13s squad with coaches Mark Thompson and Artie Campbell at the Newtownabbey Cricket Winter Academy.

During January and February Templepatrick and Cliftonville Cricket Clubs worked with Newtownabbey Borough Council to offer young cricketers coaching sessions at the Newtownabbey Cricket Winter Academy.

Also involved in the partnership project again for a second year was the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, with the sessions being held at their multi-purpose sports facility.

The under-14 boys' squad with coaches at the Newtownabbey Cricket Winter Academy, held at University of Ulster.

The under-14 boys' squad with coaches at the Newtownabbey Cricket Winter Academy, held at University of Ulster.

Coaching sessions were run under the guidance of both clubs’ respective Cricket Development Officers, Andy McCrea and Andy McCulloch, backed by other qualified coaches from the two clubs.

Andy McCrea, from Templepatrick CC, said: “We are delighted with the continuation of the scheme and the partnership between the four organisations. This year there were boys’ under-14 and under-11 age groups and a girls’ under-13 age group was added. All the coaches were impressed by the progression made by the players in the intense sessions over the weeks. Their work ethic and learning skills are a credit to them and they will definitely enter the new season better prepared.”

Cliftonville’s Andy McCulloch added: “This was a great opportunity for both the boys and girls to not only improve their skills but to do so in a format outside of their own club, working in another environment, with other coaches and other players. We could see how much they bought into this scheme and put their all into it, soaking up as much information as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Newtownabbey Primary Schools’ indoor cricket competition will take place at the Valley Leisure Centre on March 13 and 20, 12pm - 3pm.