Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
The Ireland U19s Men’s squad is set for a pre-season tour to South Africa where they will play competitive fixtures against the SSE Cricket Institute (Titans Academy). The tour marks the start of the squad’s preparation for the Under-19 Men’s World Cup, to be held in Sri Lanka in January 2024.
The tour will include four 50-over fixtures, taking place at the University of Pretoria, where the team will be based between the 22-30 March 2023.
Speaking of the tour, National Talent Pathway Manager, Albert van der Merwe said:
“It is exciting to be able to take a group of players out to experience different conditions and play different opposition. For some it will be a first and I’m sure a great experience. It is also good to build relationships with the likes of University of Pretoria and Chris Cardoso who runs the SSE Cricket Institute.
“With our U19 Men’s team gaining automatic qualification based on their results at the previous U19 Men’s World Cup, our focus and preparation looks a little bit different than years gone by. With not having to go through the qualifying route, we can invest elsewhere and build a stronger programme that allows our players different opportunities.”
“Philippe le Roux will captain the squad. Also featuring will be Jordan Neill, an Irish passport holder who captains Rondebosch Boys’ High School in Cape Town and played for Western Province Schools. We have been following Jordan’s progress over the last nine months. He is an opening batter who has scored heavily in domestic schoolboy cricket, and during a UK tour in 2022 summer he scored impressive 100’s against Millfield School, Brighton College and Oakham School.”
Head Coach and Academy and Performance Manager, Peter Johnston said:
“I’ve been impressed with the commitment and potential of this U19 winter training squad as a whole and it is a bonus that we have also had some players competing overseas this winter. These fixtures, on what should be first class facilities, will provide us with the appropriate challenge and learning experiences to help speed up player development, as we plan towards the World Cup and beyond.
“It is perfect timing for the tour ahead of an exciting summer of youth/emerging cricket both provincially and internationally – there will be plenty of opportunity for this squad, and the players not selected or unavailable due to other commitments, to perform as the summer unfolds. It is great to see that we are continuing to build depth across our pathway that are benefited greatly from experiences like this.”
Philippe le Roux – Captain (Railway Union), Eoin Birch (Balbriggan), Macdara Cosgrave (Pembroke), Aaron Doyle (Malahide), Harry Dyer (CSNI), Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Finn Lutton (CSNI), Jordan Neill (Rondebosch Boy’s High School), Scott Macbeth (Bready), Aaron McGeehan (Clontarf), Oliver Riley (YMCA), Donncha Tucker (Pembroke), Matthew Weldon (The Hills), Reuben Wilson (YMCA)
The coach and support staff that will travel are:
Peter Johnston (Head Coach), Albert van der Merwe (Assistant Coach/Team Manager), Darren Nicol (Physiotherapist)
• 25 March: Ireland Under-19s v Northern Titans Academy (LC de Villiers, Tuks Oval, Pretoria)
• 26 March: Ireland Under-19s v Northern Titans Academy (LC de Villiers, Tuks Oval, Pretoria)
• 28 March: Ireland Under-19s v Northern Titans Academy (LC de Villiers, Tuks Oval, Pretoria)
• 29 March: Ireland Under-19s v Northern Titans Academy (LC de Villiers, Tuks Oval, Pretoria)