READY TO GO: Far North Coast junior cricket representatives, from left, James Fennamore, 11, of Richmond Hill, Tranan Burvill, 12, of Byron Bay, Hamish McClintock, 11, of Ballina, Thomas Gooley, 11, of Casino, and Jene Grant, 12, of Ballina at training in the lead-up to the Lismore Under-12 carnival.
READY TO GO: Far North Coast junior cricket representatives, from left, James Fennamore, 11, of Richmond Hill, Tranan Burvill, 12, of Byron Bay, Hamish McClintock, 11, of Ballina, Thomas Gooley, 11, of Casino, and Jene Grant, 12, of Ballina at training in the lead-up to the Lismore Under-12 carnival. Patrick Gorbunovs

Youngsters the future of cricket

FAR North Coast Futures will go into the Lismore Under-12 cricket carnival with nothing to lose.

The squad is made up of a number of younger players who will have the chance to play at the carnival again next year and some of them the following year.

It won't be easy for the youngsters having to play South-East Queensland and teams from Brisbane and Newcastle in the pool stage.

"We'll have our hands full but it will be a good learning experience," team manager David Grant said.

"We have some handy young cricketers who are really keen and a couple of players who are already 12."

A record 20 teams including two other FNC teams have entered the carnival that begins today and finishes on Friday.

There will be 230 players in total with FNC wrapping up its training preparation for all three teams with a final hit-out at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, last Wednesday.

The Futures side will benefit from having the experienced Paul McLean,a former Sydney first-grade batsman, as coach.

"We'll look to get the maximum out of all 12 players and have them all involved," Grant said.

"Everyone will get the chance to bowl and there will be no strict batting order like some teams.

"This is a good team for these kids to be in because they wouldn't have had the chance to be as active in the other teams."

There will be a mixture of 25-over, 30-over and 45-over matches this week.

A FNC team last won the carnival in 2007 but since then Central Coast have been undefeated.

International and state stars who have played in Lismore carnivals include David Warner, Peter Forrest, Josh Hazelwood, Ben Cutting, Usman Khawaja, Moises Henriques and Stephen O'Keefe.

Locals Tom Cooper (Corndale) and Brendan Drew (Alstonville) lined up in FNC teams before going on to play first-class cricket.

With the number of players and parents in Lismore for the week, the economic benefits to Lismore are considerable at a time when many Lismore families are away on holidays.

Lismore City Council and Lismore Workers Club have been the major sponsors for many years of what is now the biggest Under-12 cricket carnival on the east coast of Australia.

FNC TEAMS FOR UNDER-12 CARNIVAL

FNC Futures: Andre Isaac (c), Jene Grant (vc), Lachlan Parker, Charlie Hawkins, Jesse Barnwell, Jim Pearson, James Fennamore, Tom Gooley, Kyuss Driscoll-Dyer, Sam McLean, Angus Scarrabelotti, Ciara Burvill.

FNC Green: Jack Cooper (c), Ethan Elliott, Matt Bradshaw, Bailey Crawford, Lachlan Sproul, Caelan Maladay, Jamie Cox (wk), Trinin Burvill, Will Nash, Simon Pratt, Hamish McClintock, Jayden Vidler.

FNC Red: Sebastian Power (c), Zayd Thomas, Cameron Palmer, Seth McClelland, Finlay Stubbs, Kye Hughes (wk), Reece Gregor, Riley Gregor, Conor Bensley, Oliver Cronin, Riley Hunter, Sam Johnston.



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