WESTERN Waves officials are confident they will send the strongest squads possible to cricket state championships.
The Waves have finalised the under 16 and under 18 representative squads they will send to the annual titles in December and January.
Eighteen players remain in contention for the under 14s, with the squad of 13 finalised on November 18.
Western Waves regional manager Stephen Field said he believed the players would acquit themselves well at the titles.
“We have lots of different avenues now to select players,” he said.
“Not only do you have the trial process, which has been reasonably lengthy, they’ve had good opportunities to display skills over three or four and sometimes five sessions.
“But we have the MyCricket website, which displays the kids’ scores and feats with their own clubs.
“And the coaches and selectors are constantly in touch with me and I’m in touch with various people around the associations to get a feel for how the kids are playing.
“There will be some kids who are very disappointed but these are the kids who are in the best form at the moment.”
The under 18s open their campaign against Mallee Murray Bulls at Horsham on December 16, continuing on January 14 to 17 in Melbourne.
Six Warrnambool and District players have made the 13-player squad, including three from West Warrnambool — Tom Smith, Will Mills and Ben Threlfall.
The remainder are from Hamilton and District (three), South West Cricket (two), Portland and District (one) and Horsham (one).
The under 16s will likewise meet the Mallee Murray Bulls on December 16 but wrap up their campaign on January 21 to 24 in Melbourne.
Warrnambool and District supplies three players and five associations are represented in the squad.
Others come from Hamilton and District (three), Mount Gambier (two), West Wimmera (two), South West (two) and Portland and District (one).
The under 14 campaign is from January 21 to 24 in Melbourne.
“Last year’s 14s and 16s did very well. It was the highest finish we’ve had — they were a game away from playing in major finals,” Field said. “I think the under 14 side is a little bit weaker this year but hopefully I’m proven wrong.
“The under 16 side is an unknown quantity. Certainly there is some bowling strength but the batting we’re a little bit unsure about.
“With the under 18s, there are a couple of fellas who made the squad who have never played pathway before, but are playing very well in division one in their associations.
“That shows if you are prepared to persist you can make these squads.
“I’m quietly confident we’ll have a strong under 18 side.”