CRICKET: Andy McBrine raring for Warriors campaign

North West Warriors skipper Andy McBrine feels youthful squad continues to improve.
North West Warriors skipper Andy McBrine feels youthful squad continues to improve.

It’s all change in the North West Warriors set-up ahead of the 2016 campaign.

Ian McGregor has taken over from Bobby Rao as Head Coach and he has brought in Niall McDonnell as his Assistant

For skipper Andy McBrine he can’t wait for the Interprovinical season to get underway and he believes the young squad will continue to improve.

Last season the Warriors lost out on claiming the Interprovincial Championship after their final encounter against Leinster Lightning was washed out at Bready, but McBrine believes the squad has come on leaps and bounds and the future is looking good.

“If you looked at our team from last year, Davy Rankin was our oldest player and he’s only 27,” he stated.

“We have got a good lot of young cricketers and I feel it’s a great way for them to express themselves against the other two top regions. We know that it may take three or four years for players to really fit in, but we will continue to bring young players through.

“We won the T20 Inter pro a couple of years ago and we were unfortunate last year as we were beaten by just a bonus point.

“We played very good cricket in the three day format and we have a chance to win that but the rain washed our final game out at Bready.

“The most pleasing thing from my point of view was our three day cricket last year, we never lost a game; we came out with either a bonus draw point or won games, the previous couple of years we struggled in that format and it was the other two provinces who were stronger.

“Last year the lads showed that they can step up and play in the three day format.

“A lot of guys in our squad aren’t used to playing three day cricket, we are used to playing 50 over and T20 cricket and that’s where we were strongest for the last few years, but last year showed that the lads are starting to adapt to the three day game.”

The 22-year-old, who celebrates his birthday this Saturday, feels McGregor’s appointment will help the squad.

“Ian has been part of the Warriors from the start, so he knows all the lads,” he added.

“He’ll fit in grand because of the lads knowing him because they have either played with him or played against him.

“We have had a few training sessions with him and all the lads have enjoyed it, they have all worked hard. The new assistant coach Niall McDonnell will hopefully bring something different.”