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The Rock-itt : September 2009
The Manly Warringah District Cricket Club Season 2009-10 has commenced with the 1st Pre Season training session at Narrabeen Sports Academy on Saturday 15th August. Over 71 hopefuls turned out in bright spring sunshine at the new facility in the former NSW Academy of Sports on Wakehurst Parkway; the atmosphere was incredibly positive and all players were subject to a rigorous "beep" test prior to full practice getting under way. Even at 830am the sun had significant heat and the competitors gradually fell out as the beeps approached double figures. In the first group of 30 players, Luke Edgell and Jack Ritchie lasted the distance and in the second group, Luke Grant and Max Carter were the last to finish. As everyone was eager to hit some balls and utilise the new Astroturf facility at Narrabeen, practice got under way very quickly in two locations and it was obvious that this entire complex is going to be very important to the ongoing training of cricketers on the Northern Beaches. The surface is excellent having been recently completed and the run ups for bowlers is more than adequate. The batting conditions are ideal even if the ball doesn't come through quite as quickly as is expected, but this will only aid batsmen trying to find form before the per season trials begin in September, as the early Spring turf wickets will also be slow. There were lots of new faces, all keen to demonstrate their ability to Coaches and Selectors alike and it was clear to all that it will be a tough contest for places in this upcoming season. With two new first class players to follow, watch out for some very positive things happening at Manly this season. Typically in an Ashes season, interest is created throughout the country for cricket and the take-up for registrations this year has already seen a significant rise. Cricket NSW are encouraged by this trend and with one Ashes Test still to go at the Brit Oval in South London next week, and the result in the balance, all eyes will be watching the TV for the final five days of the series. Most Manly players are convinced that the Aussies will bring the Ashes trophy home (well at least the replica!) but injuries to both sides and selection issues may make it a tighter contest than they think. The Poms HAVE to win at this venue to take back the trophy with the Aussies only needing a draw. By the time this article goes to press it may well have been decided. [Insert Graham Price picture] - Manly's new Chairman of Selectors 2009-10 Looking around the Peninsula these last two weeks it is clear that all sports grounds have taken a savage beating and will need a lot of care to deliver decent surfaces for players by the start of the Grade Competition in late September. Warringah Cricket Club are still without a main Oval thanks to the renovation work now being undertaken at their home ground, Weldon Oval. Warringah Council have appointed contractors to dig up the turf and remove the landfill that has been under the playing surface for over 35 years. As with Frank Gray Reserve, there will no doubt be many rusty old wrecks of cars coming to the surface and it is hoped that the new contractors will be laser leveling this Oval to make sure it is one of the best playing surfaces on the Northern Beaches. There was some disappointment at the final outcome at Frank Gray in some quarters as the finished surface ended up more like an upturned saucer than a laser leveled flat surface, but all sporting groups are hopeful that lessons have been Jack Ritchie Manly training session 1st Grade squad