Future of sport in Wanaka looks bright

The future of cricket in Wanaka looks bright.

This season marks the first in more than a decade a team of Mount Aspiring College pupils has  entered the Central Otago men’s senior reserve competition and, while it may be a learning curve, they are aiming for the top.

The team, made up entirely of 15 and 16-year-olds, has tasted sweet success and bitter defeat from its two games this season, and skipper Sam Teal (16) admits his side is still finding its feet.

"It’s a big step up. The boys bowl quicker, hit it harder. You’ve got to be a lot more accurate with your bowling especially, because anything down leg will just get hit. Batting-wise you can’t go out there and swing; you have to bat deep and play a more controlled innings than in the youth grades."

Taking the step up to men’s cricket has been a learning curve so far for the Luggate-Albion Colts...
Taking the step up to men’s cricket has been a learning curve so far for the Luggate-Albion Colts side, according to skipper Sam Teal, but he believes his team has potential to win competitions in the future. Photo: Sean Nugent

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For the boys last week after a big loss to Maniototo, they’ve realised it’s a step up and we need to play harder."

Teal said the team was not overly concerned about wins and losses this season, but was focused on learning and getting better."It’s a bit about finding our feet this year.

"I think next year is going to be when we’re going to try and take out competitions."

The side has been a long time in the making.

Manager Ian McNabb said many of the side first came together 10 years ago when they were just 5 or 6  years old.

The fact they were still together now was simply because they were "just having a bit of fun".

It is unlikely there will be another 11-year gap between this team and the next, according to Luggate-Albion Cricket Club president Mike O’Connor.

"There’s a pathway now right the way through from when they’re 5 or 6 years old which didn’t used to exist.

"Looking at the numbers we’ve got in the age grades below these guys, I think we’re going to be swamped with players [playing men’s cricket] for the next few years."

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