Leinster has traditionally been the strongest breeding ground for the country's young cricketers. Here we take a look at some of the talented teenagers who are tipped to make an impact in the years ahead.
We start at Claremont Road, where YMCA have been to the forefront of development in Dublin, where former Irish international Alan Lewis tells us more about their talented group of youngsters.
Tim Tector – another in the dynasty of Tectors (pictured below with Jamie Forbes) – amazingly all three Tectors played a game for the Wolves this year. Tim is such an even tempered boy. Whether a duck or a big score his temperament is much the same , unlike Harry who doesn't always take it so well! He is a natural timer of the ball and works ever so hard on his game. He is an example to all the younger ones in YMCA.
Jamie Forbes – a natural all-rounder who has all the gifts to become a quality cricketer. The key for Jamie will be the intensity he brings to his training and then using every opportunity he is given. Has the ability to go all the way.
Wilhelm De Klerk – a batting all rounder who is a complete natural. The distance he travels will be of his own making. Has the ability to go all the way.
Ollie Riley / Yash Bala / Shihan Karpe and Jack Flanagan – all four could progress very well but being so young you just don’t know. If their love of the game continues and they work with Kamal Merchant as they have to this point and listen to him – who knows?
Nearby Pembroke are another club who have produced an array of talented cricketers, recently having no fewer than five of their club in the Ireland senior squad.
Macdara Cosgrave - Really making progress at present and was the leading player on the Leinster u13 squad who played a 4-match series against the NCU last summer. A top order agressive batsman, Macdara is a more than useful seam bowler, fielder and wicketkeeper when required.
Arshad Safi - Originally from Afghanistan and is clearly a fan of Rashid Khan. Still U13, he has trained with the Leinster u15 squad this winter plus has attended Irish Cubs sessions. Bowls right arm wrist spin and is a more than useful attacking, right hand bat.
Ethan Clarke - Determined and focused cricketer who always works hard on his game. Batsman, wrist spin bowler and a wicketkeeper. Another provincial player at Pembroke (u13) who is making steady progress.
Clontarf are another side with an excellent track record at development, and their players to keep a close eye on are:
John McNally - He is a hard hitting LH bat and a very clever swing bowler. Scored 75 at the end of last season for our 2nd XI in a league game vs North County.
Andre Ryan - Tall imposing fast bowler who can really hit the ball clean and far.
Luke Thomson - gritty little cricketer who can swing the ball both ways and a solid batsman. Played lots last year in our 5th, 4th and 3rd XIs.
Niall Cox - creative batsman who is the occasional wicketkeeper and more than effective bowler. The genuine all rounder!
Eoin Birch of Balbriggan is a fast bowler of undoubted quality, who has played for Ireland Under 15s and was named as the most promising bowler in the region, while Daniel Forkin (pictured below) of Merrion is another who is widely regarded by those in the know.
Rush have been the most successful club in recent times in the All-Ireland youth competitions, and Daniel Coffey from the Kenure club has picked out the following boys and girls as ones with real potential.
Andrew Doheny- Bowling all rounder, and younger brother of Stephen. Finn McGee, who is a wicket-keeper/batter , Brandon Morris- Bowling all-rounder, Ellie McGee- Batting all rounder, and Rebecca Gough- Batting all rounder.
Terenure's Michael Cotter was optimistic about the club's youth section and identified the following four prospects.
Séamus Lynch, 17, Batsman (Right Hand Bat, Right Arm Off-Spin) Having now played two full years in the 1st XI, Moose has shown some big glimpses of how good his performances could be at the level, since the start of 2018 he's averaged just over 20 with the bat in all formats and has four 50s to his name in that time, with a highest score of 92.
He's recently returned to bowling and is working hard on getting his off-spin to first team standard after being used sparingly in 2019. He's also a very accomplished fielder and spends his time between gully and patrolling the boundary ropes by virtue of his strong arm. The final string to his bow is that he is a more than capable back-up wicket-keeper. Séamus has already represented Ireland at U17 level as well as an appearance for the Leinster Lightning Bolts in 2019, and is a member of the Cricket Ireland Emerging Academy and will hopefully continue on his current path over the coming years.
Aidan Doyle, 17, Bowler (Right Arm Medium, Right Hand Bat) Aidan's debut season of 1st team cricket started slowly, he didn't bowl until his third appearance in the Senior Cup against Leinster. His impact on that game was 4-36 in an excellent display of controlled swing bowling. Though his appearances at the level were limited to just 8 throughout the course of the season, he returned 14 wickets at an average of 18.21 and has shown potential to establish himself at the level. He is a very athletic fielder with a good set of hands who will no doubt prove to be useful at 1st team level once again after exam season this summer.
Evan Kelleher, 14, All-Rounder (Right Hand Bat, Right Arm Medium) Son of former 1st team keeper and Hopkins Cup winner Fintan, Evan has represented Leinster at U11 and U13 levels in his underage exploits so far. Has a powerful bowling action which generates good pace for his age as well as the ability to swing the ball. Coupled with a very correct batting technique which he uses to accumulate runs in a busy fashion this makes him a very strong all-rounder. Possesses a powerful arm in the field and has been seen impacting several run outs of batsman who thought they were safe with direct hits. Has been training with Leinster U15 squad throughout the winter.
Ryan Smith, 13, Batsman (Right Hand Bat, Right Arm Leg-Break) A correct uncomplicated young batsman who has already got just over a full season of men's cricket under his belt at 3rd XI level, which has given him a very level-headed and gritty approach to his innings', putting a lot of preparation into his plans. Has represented South Leinster at U11 level as well as South Dublin in the U13 district cup in 2019. His leg-spin is a secondary skill which he puts a lot of work into, and unusually for such a young player he is a very accomplished slip fielder. Another player who has been training with the Leinster U15 squad throughout the winter.
Finally, at Rathmines, Leinster CC have high hopes for the Tonge brothers (pictured below).
Mark Tonge is a right-arm seam bowler who made his first team debut for the club in 2019. He is an accurate opening bowler who has the great ability to get movement off the pitch. He should be leading the club attack in the not too distant future, as shown when he bowled the side back into contention against Strabane in the Irish Senior Cup in the last campaign.
Andrew Tonge is a left-handed top-order batsman and wicket-keeper who also made his senior debut in 2019. He is an aggressive batter who takes the game to the opposition, and is particularly strong square of the wicket. Has shown good technique and promise, and has the potential to be a real match winner. His wicket-keeping continues to improve, where he has good hands and moves well.
Hopefully all these teenagers will get the opportunity to showcase their talents on the field in the 2020 season.