NORTH COUNTY

  • Captain: Niall McGovern
  • Players in/out: Just the pro in for the first team at the moment.
  • Overseas Professional: Malcolm Nofal
  • Young players to watch: Thereís a few good young lads coming through the system like Jack Brady and Owen Graham but they probably wonít feature too much on the firsts for the next year or two as they are still developing as cricketers. Andrew Sheridan and Jamie Grassi are still young, very keen to make representative sides and always improving - so Iím expecting even better seasons from those two this time around.

There's both a new captain and a new overseas player in place at Balrothery for the forthcoming season. Niall McGovern is the skipper and their professional is Malcolm Nofal whoís currently plying his trade for the Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand.

Heís a left arm spinner and a top order batsman who recently scored his first first-class ton for Wellington, making 179 against Central Districts. 

He is a former South African U19 World Cup player who played against Ireland in their five-wicket win in Queenstown in 2010.

"Obviously the league is looking like itís going to be as competitive as it has ever been with probably the best 8 teams in the province in the top flight, along with the introduction of first class overseas professionals," said McGovern. 

"Having said that, we had a comfortable mid-table finish in the league last year and with an ever improving side along with the addition of a top class overseas pro, we should be looking to improve on that this year and challenge for some silverware.

"Irelandís baffling selection policy every year is always big benefit to us in the form of having Eddie Richardson available for the whole year.

"Without the pressures of captaincy Iím expecting him to have an even better year than ever to help us achieve our goals and continue to prove the powers that be wrong.

"We have a tough start to the season with a couple of away matches and not ideal cup draws, but weíve been training since January and will be looking to start strongly and build on that throughout the year."