THE Portland Under 13 Country Week competition is growing with every year and a record 12 teams and around 160 cricketers will descend on the town’s ovals for this year’s tournament, which begins on Monday.
Hamilton is sending two teams once again, while Mt Gambier is sending three and Warrnambool two to face Casterton, South West, Grassmere, Portland and Horsham.
The Under 13 Country Week is a real battle of attrition as the team which becomes champion will have had to play six matches in three days, so it is a great test of fitness and mental strength as well as pure cricketing ability.
It also requires a bit of luck, because with only four matches to decide ladder positions, any team could easily get a good run against weaker teams to reach the semi-finals, while a stronger team which has the misfortune of playing most of the better teams can end up back in the pack.
As much as becoming the champion team is important, at Under 13 level, it is more about getting some representative experience into the association’s youngest members and giving the players the chance to meet and play with those from neighbouring regions, forming a camaraderie which will hopefully be strong throughout their playing careers.
Hamilton Gold will be coached by Robbie Cook and team manager Chris Annett, and will start its tournament against Grassmere and Warrnambool Gold on Monday, before taking on Mt Gambier (3) and Mt Gambier (2) on Tuesday.
Cook is looking forward to the week and expects his team to perform well.
Full story in the Spectator on Saturday, January 11, 2014