THE disappointment of missing the cut 12 months ago is driving Western Waves debutant Flynn Wilkinson.
The Merrivale cricketer will make his state championships debut when the Waves launch their under 14 campaign in Horsham on Sunday.
Wilkinson, 14, said he was excited to be part of the revamped Youth Premier League which will include matches spread across three months and three regions.
The all-rounder’s first test will be against Mallee Murray Heat.
“I am with a few lads that I know that didn’t make it last year too so it’s really good to get in with them,” he said.
“I worked on a fair bit of my bowling...through (Warrnambool) country week and then it led into this.
“I am pretty pumped and it should be pretty good to get away with some people I haven’t played much cricket with.”
Wilkinson, whose dad Matthew and sister Lila also play for Warrnambool and District Cricket Association club Merrivale, combines cricket with football.
The South Warrnambool footballer was runner-up in the Hampden league under 14 best and fairest this year to Roosters teammate George Stevens. “I love it, it’s really good fun – in the winter footy and in the summer I get away with my mates and play cricket,” he said.
Western Waves will play their second match against Barwon Rockets at Terang on December 9.
They will finish their tournament with five matches in Melbourne from January 14-17.
“I reckon it will be good. I think it’s better changing it up, having a few separate games and the big week in Melbourne,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson will join Merrivale teammate Hugh Fleming, West Warrnambool’s Noah Dawson, Allansford’s Harry Schrama, Wesley-CBC’s Noah Greene and Mortlake pair Oliver Martin and Simon Atkinson in the under 14 squad.
Two Warrnambool and District association club captains – West Warrnambool’s Alastair Templeton (head coach) and Woodford’s Nick Butters (assistant) – will lead the team. Western Waves’ under 16 boys will also launch their title tilt in Horsham on Sunday.
They will then play four matches in three days across the south-west with games scheduled in Port Fairy, Koroit and Warrnambool from December 17-19.
Three Melbourne-based games from January 21-23 will complete the Waves’ under 16 series.
Campbell Love (Brierly-Christ Church), Ethan Boyd (Allansford), Joe Nykios (West Warrnambool), Oliver Manhcke (Mortlake), Fletcher Cozens (Hawkesdale) are the WDCA, SWC and Grassmere Cricket Association representatives.
Macarthur’s Zebb Nield is also in the team.
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