Stage One of cricketing careers

Toby McLean goes through his bowling action.

By Tania Phillips

Warwick Junior Cricket’s Stage One competition is in a rebuilding phase with numbers starting to increase as they come through from the popular beginners Blaster Cricket.

Stage one coordinator Johnny Cleary said they currently have 20 young players, who were in action at the Glennie Heights State School, taking part in Stage One which unlike Blaster is played on a proper cricket pitch rather than a field with pads and bats and proper games.

“When I grew up they use to have the Under 10s, Under 12s, Under 14s where as now its more skills based and we have Stage One, Stage Two and then Junior Bulls,” he said.

“We have a range of kids from anywhere between five and ten and eleven years old. A lot of the kids were in the Blaster and still eligible for the Blaster but once they’ve done that for a couple of years they get to the point where they actually want to go play a game. That’s where they are all at.

“Blaster is from your four-five year olds through to nine-10 but some of those kids have done it for a few years and feel like they want to go have a game.

“We are floating around about the 20-22 players (for Stage One). We’ve had a few kids that have come in halfway through which is good and we’ve also pushed some kids up into the next level. Once they get a bit more confidence they can go up to Stage Two – the 10-12 year olds.

“We’re full games that’s the difference between Blaster and Stage one. When they in Blaster its skills based and there is a game but it’s not as game orientated.”

Cleary, who had previously been running the Blaster cricket before his kids moved up to Level One, said they were really trying to rebuild the numbers in the local Warwick cricket.

“Actually I think everywhere is struggling, right throughout Queensland and cricket in general,” he said.

“We’re trying our best. I think we’ve got good numbers in this because we were running the blaster and we had good numbers, up to 50 kids in that. Most of these kids could still be in Blasters but because we’ve gone up, a lot of our friends and other kids have gone up to.”

The competition will finish up for the season on 23 March.