by Pam McKay
CRICKET: Coach Adrian Reck is confident the Central Queensland team will do the region proud at next week's state under-12 championships.
Twelve regional teams will descend on Rock- hampton for the five-day titles, which start Monday.
They will be divided into two pools and play a series of 50-over games at the Rockhampton Cricket Ground and Kalka Shades.
The CQ side is made up of players from the host city, Central Highlands, Biloela and Gladstone, and Reck expected a strong showing against the state's best.
"We aimed to pick a strong all-round team, with a mix of strong batsmen and good bowlers,” he said.
"They boys are all very keen and I'm sure we will be very competitive.
"It would be great to walk away with the win but at the end of the day I just want them to enjoy what is their first experience at this level.”
The CQ team, which was finalised in October, has been training together regularly and had a good hit-out in trial games in Mackay a fortnight ago.
Reck said CQ had a tough pool which included Brisbane North, Met South West, Gold Coast, Mackay Whitsunday and Far North.
CQ will open its campaign against Mackay Whitsunday at the Rockhampton Cricket Ground at 9am on Monday.
Gladstone's Kori Ramsden will captain the side and as opening batsman and a leg spin bowler will have a big influence on results.
Opening bowler Jack Shepherd is also expected to get among the wickets.
Reck had coached at rep level but this was his first gig with the CQ team.
His main message to his young charges was to have fun and enjoy the game.
"If we can work together as a team, the cricket will take care of itself,” he said.
"If they don't let the nerves get the better of them they will be fine.
"The key in this age group is minimising extras; you can win or lose a game that way.
"We're just going out to do our best and take each day as it comes.
"It's been a journey. I've been following these kids for two years now and they've developed and matured into good little cricketers.
"I'm sure they will do CQ proud.”
CQ U12 TEAM
Liam Welsh, Lachlan Reck (Rockhampton), Kori Ramsden, Jack Shepherd, Lachlan Wembridge, Will Raffin (Gladstone), Ben Joyce, Griffin Thomson, Jack Heelan, Lachlan Warr, Griffith Williams (Central Highlands), Luke Sanderson (Biloela)