CRICKET: North West Warriors name 22 man winter training squad

North West Warriors Andrew McBrine will be hoping for another good season.
North West Warriors Andrew McBrine will be hoping for another good season.

Despite there still being no decision on a permanent head coach, the North West Warriors have announced a 22-man winter training squad which is expected to begin work as soon as the festive holidays have ended.

There are one or two new faces in the list as well as a few who have forced their way back in after several big performances for their clubs in 2015.

A source close to the Warriors camp confirmed that Ian McGregor had remained in temporary charge following Bobby Rao’s resignation in the summer and that it was expected that the role would be advertised in the coming days.

Brigade batsman McGregor was reluctant to comment on his own situation however he did confirm that he had played an active part in Monday night’s meeting.

“We have a fairly loose arrangement in place that I will look after things until a permanent Head Coach appointment has been made,” he said.

“Niall McDonnell has accepted an invitation to join the selection committee and ahead of our meeting, all selectors were asked to consider their own list of players that they felt should be included.

“That ensured that everyone had an equal voice and it also served to speed up the process and allow us to concentrate on the candidates who would be new to the Warriors set-up.

“Obviously, a lot of these players pick themselves but it has to be remembered that the list isn’t exhaustive at this stage.

“There are a number of young players in the squad who are already involved on regional or representative training squads so their workload will be managed accordingly.

“These include Ryan Macbeth, the two Chopras, two McClintock’s, Aaron Gillespie, Ross Allen and Andrew Austin.

“Losing Graeme McCarter is a definite blow however the good news is that Andy Britton has committed to being available for all ‘white ball’ matches and Coleraine’s Jarred Barnes will be included this year as well. Both have done well when they have come in previously so their availability is a huge help.

“Jonny Robinson has forced his way in after a superb season at Beechgrove and he will give us good options with bat and ball. Jason Milligan and David Barr also return to the squad - two lads who have served the Warriors well in the past.

“All in all we’re happy with our options at this point albeit there were certainly one or two others who came close to making it in as well.

“Hopefully we will begin strength and conditioning work at the beginning of January and be ready to hit the ground running ahead of what will be another very busy summer schedule.”

The full squad is as follows: Andrew McBrine; Stuart Thompson; Craig Young; David Rankin; Ricky Lee Dougherty; Scott Campbell; Gary McClintock; David Barr; William McClintock; Aaron Gillespie; Andrew Austin; Craig Averill; Ross Allen; Rishi Chopra; Varun Chopra; Andrew Britton; Jarred Barnes; Jonathan Robinson; Ryan Hunter; Ryan MacBeth and Jason Milligan.