Such was the efficacy of Londonís hosting of the 2012 Olympics, the much blazoned legacy of the games is, even eighteen months on, delivering on itís promise. The economic and social benefits have been indisputable but perhaps the true upshot is yet to be realised. In the wake of the games, a multitude of talent identification projects sprouted - feeding off the fervour engendered by events in Stratford - as no time was wasted in the hunt for the next Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis. It remains to be seen whether such a legacy will extend to inspiring the next generation and unearthing a cluster of superstars, but what is for sure, in this age of incessant reality television programmes and talent searches, the opportunities to fulfil oneís potential - no matter what strand - are boundless.

Itís often been said in the past, that talent is universal but opportunity is not. In this day and age, however, perhaps such an assertion needs rejigging: sport, as a whole, can testify to that. The London 2012 Talent ID campaigns, as they were officially heralded, is just one example in one sport and one country. Across the board, there has never been a greater number of possibilities for one to truly realise, develop and then fulfil their talent.

Take cricket as a point in case. From the initial stage of learning the rudimentary basics, right through to senior level, the unprecedented resources and aids now in place ensures the next cohort of cricketers receive a rich education at all levels. The platforms available for the future generation to use as a springboard to the top - no matter what grade that may be - makes the journey far less interminable. The infrastructure established over such a short period of time is indicative of Irelandís cricketing blossoming.

To that point, the onus, for clubs, is now very much on youth. For many, the majority of time, effort and financial resources is expended on the junior section and already such investments are bearing fruit. The formation of inclusive summer academies not only helps attract new families to the club and boosts the coffers but ensures, further down the line, the pool of proficient players at their disposal is extensive.

YMCA have set the precedent. A burgeoning youth academy continues to thrive a decade after it first began as the Claremont Road production line shows no signs of relenting. As many as four of the first team have come through the clubís youth system in recent years. Wicketkeeper JJ Cassidy, youth international Jack Tector and opening batsman Aaron Bailey have all become established components of the side and there are others knocking at the door. The clubís other four sides - as well as their Womenís XIs - are predominantly made up of homegrown players still under the age of twenty-one while their all-conquering 3rds, an outfit comprised of ten underage players, have enjoyed four consecutive promotions. Youíll never win anything with kids and all that.

Others are following suit as well. North County have adopted a similar blueprint and hold no reservations in throwing propitious youngsters in at the deep end. Itís a policy that is being employed with significant success. A cursory glance at the scorecards from the opening weekends of the new season and the telling contributions from underage players are conspicuous. In fact, 20% of those who have played senior cricket in 2014 thus far have been under the age of nineteen.

It all bodes well for the future but above all, underlines the virtues of the system. It was only until recently that cricket was largely inaccessible outside the conventional sphere: an introduction to the game was restricted to the confines of a club. Now, the design of instilling a taste, and a flair, for the sport at primary school level is having the desired effect. The transition from schoolyard to the local club has been paved through such initiatives as the numbers playing the sport has swelled to unequalled heights.

But, as promising as it may all be, potential is no guarantee of success.

The developments at ICC boardroom level - no matter how defective the new Test challenge may be - has substantially heightened the requisite for Ireland to produce competent cricketers beyond the current crop. With a possible ascension on the horizon, the need to breed a greater calibre of player - think Eoin Morgan - on a consistent basis cannot be concealed. For now, such a conveyor belt seems to be jammed.

There has been an element of brouhaha surrounding the promise of those currently second in line. But if anything, as the shadows have begun to lengthen on the careers of the golden generation, the lack of capable replacements has been alarmingly highlighted. Those previously touted for stardom have failed to fulfil their perceived potential while questions marks have arisen over the capability of those who have broken into Phil Simmonsí squad.

One such instance is in the bowling ranks. For how long will Tyrone Kane, Peter Chase, Craig Young and Graeme McCarter be heralded as heir apparents? Time is still on their side but the selectorsí decision to continually overlook them only raises questions about their prowess for the top level. The same can be said about the batsmen. James Shannon, among others, has been in and out of squads like a yo-yo, regularly assuming the role of drinks carrier, but his chance is surely gone. As Margaret Atwood, the Canadian poet and novelist, once said: potential has a shelf life.

As the first batch of players to emanate from Irelandís cricketing explosion progress through the ranks, the importance of moulding them into international quality players cannot be understated. For all the spadework completed to arrive at this juncture internationally, the future lies at home. The national team can only be as good as the domestic game and if the latter isnít producing polished products than the up-shots will be felt across the board.

The influx of youth in Division One is encouraging but the performances of emerging talent at domestic level is a start and only that. The aptitude is unequivocally there but the most needs to be made of such talent. With all the tools and resources available, there is no shortage of tuition and opportunity but that doesnít always equate to fulfillment. Last year, Ireland U19s limped through the World Cup Qualifiers despite having several Ďfuture internationalsí in their ranks. Unfortunately, cricket is in a perpetual battle with other sports and the high dropout rate continues to impair the game but for the subsequent generation, times are changing.

The platform is firmly in situ and the foundations laid. The stockpile is widening and the profusion of qualified coaches, development programmes, underage panels (both provincially and internationally), emerging talent squads, overseas trips and now the national academy ensures theyíll have no shortage of experience and knowledge to tap into. It remains, however, to be seen if itís all enough to rear Irelandís next generation to the required level. Only time will tell, but for now, the production line needs to keep churning.