Junior cricketers get senior experience

January 20, 2022 BY

Runs on the board: Cricket Victoria’s junior director of coaching Ron Rooney puts young players through a series of drills at Linton Rec Reserve last Sunday. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

YOUNG cricket players from across the north of the Shire came together in Linton on Sunday to get experience from one of the state’s top-level trainers.

Ron Rooney, Cricket Victoria’s junior director of coaching, was at the town’s rec reserve to conduct a clinic aimed at improving the skill levels of junior cricketers so they remain interested in the game.

“At the community level we want to make sure our numbers stay strong,” he said.

“Sport is the hub of the local community, and we just want to make sure it continues to grow.”

In his role as a state coach, Rooney’s job is to foster improved skills.

It’s not about finding the next Aaron Finch or Meg Lanning, rather his focus is on keeping players of all levels in the sport, and attracting new ones.

Part of that is also working with coaches, to make cricket training more fun and engaging.

“We want to have as big as base possible with our junior cricketers, but if they get good experiences as they go through with their coaches, they stay in the game,” Rooney said.

“The kids in the rep squads will go through, but we want to keep everyone in the game as the numbers are dying a little bit.”

Linton Cricket Club president Kirk McDonald had a hand in organising the day.

He said that to attract a coach of Rooney’s calibre was a coup for the club, and the region.

“I can’t remember in my lifetime anyone this qualified being out here, coaching our kids, especially for the cost, which is zero,” he said.

“It’s all off the back of Ron giving up his time for us. It’s connection a we have made and I’ve been speaking with Ron about more stuff later in the year.”

But the event wasn’t just about improving Linton CC’s chances as finals approach, McDonald was keen to make sure that the clinic was well attended by players from across the region.

“This isn’t just a Linton thing,” he said. “We’ve got kids from Carranballac, Skipton, Derrinallum, and an invite was sent to kids from Rokewood, Carngham, Haddon.

“The point is about letting all the kids have a go at something like this with a bloke who’s an expert coach.”