Leading Graduates from Under 16

Leading players graduating from Under 16s in 1997 and how their teams performed.

During the season, the Association provided all the players in the Tullamarine Zone team at the Victorian Secondary Schools Sports Association Carnival at Swan Hill, a team in the Inter Association Cricket Carnival, and five other inter-association games.

NWCA Under 16 Squad for I.A.C.C.

On steps: Glenn Sullivan, Steve Maitland.
On ground (l to r): Matthew Stone, Andrew Lowe, Dale Handley, Jason Flannery, Steve Vernon, Shane Lee, Shaun Borg (capt.), John Girvan (v.c.), Matthew Wilson, Sam Sciberras, Mark Gooley, Ashley Weidner.

The 19 final year players identified individually and all others named were chosen by Tony Smith who co-ordinated the Under 16 inter-association teams.

Aberfeldie had trouble filling their team each week and struggled in B section. Andrew Lowe was used as alternate keeper in some combined games.

Avondale Heights finished in the middle of B section, with Glenn Groves and Darren McCauley being better performed final year players, Darren playing early combined games.

Airport West-St. Christophers lost the last game to unexpectedly miss the finals in B section.

Campbellfield finished a credible 7th on the tight B section ladder. Sam Scibberas played in the IACC and earlier combined games.

Craigieburn were probably a bit better that their 9th in B section. Luke Springhall was a member of the Tullamarine team.

Doutta Stars finished a disappointing second last in B section. Dale Handley usually opened the batting for the IACC team.

East Keilor showed a few times that they could bat but finished bottom of an even C section. Eddie Hunter's undefeated 194 was the highest individual score in any grade.

Flemington started slowly but eventually had a big impact on the make up of the B section finals. Kori Campbell and David Dowling were better performed players, with David playing in an early combined games.

Glenroy Amateurs lost the C section grand final by 9 runs. Jason Smith is widely seen as the best of their core group of players.

Greenvale won a tight C section grand final. Ashley Weidner played in the IACC and other combined games.

Jacana were often competitive in A section but finished last after a couple of talented players decided to return to their original club a couple of games into the season.

Keilor struggled into fourth position in A section, although their depth allowed them to also field a second team in C section.

Keilor Park finished on top of the A section ladder and just failed to complete back to back premierships after an epic grand final.

Oak Park finished a creditable sixth in A section after being originally surprised with their grading.

Pascoe Vale Central were runners up in B section with a team of mainly first year players with one notable exception.

St. Bernards finished fifth in A section with a team in which all the key players were in their first year in the age group.

Strathmore was the stand out club in the age group, winning their first A section flag for 20 years as well as winning B section with a team of predominantly first year players and fielding a third team which made the finals in C section.

Amongst the final year players in their A section premiership, Corey Baker played for the Tullamarine team, Mark Gooley played for the IACC team, and Matthew Bourke and Brad Ang played in combined teams, Brad making enough runs to win B section batting before being promoted to the A team.

Taylors Lakes was a big improver, finishing a strong third in A section and making Strathmore really earn their grand final berth, as well as fielding a second team which made the finals in C section.

The Socials could not repeat their dominance of Under 14 two years earlier, finishing second last in A section, as talented players such as Alf Carrozza, Todd Courts and Matthew Sacco seemed to lose their hunger for the game.

Tullamarine gave the powerful Strathmore second team a real run for their money in their B section semi, despite having struggled with numbers at times.

West Coburg finished second in B section, but lost the semi, despite having enough depth to also field a team in C section. Nabil Akra, Adam Brown and Ben Bretherton were better performed players, with Ben playing early combined games.

Westmeadows did not have enough depth of talent to make the finals in C section.