Northerns senior women's and men's squads for the 2020/21
The Northerns senior women's and men's squads for the 2020/21 season have been announced, and the roster of talent in both squads shows a healthy mix of experience and youthful promise.
"Selecting these squads has not been an easy process considering the pool of talented players we have in the pipeline." said Charlotte Serwardi, Cricket Services Manager at Northerns Cricket Union. "I believe we've selected strong and well balanced squads which will give us options tactically for the different formats."
The women's side is again a strong one, with the timeless class of Mignon du Preez still there, alongside fellow Momentum Protea Women's star Sune Luus. The squad of 18 is one that looks to the future of Northerns Cricket, and there will be keen interest to see new stars break through into the limelight.
Though there was a premature end to the 2019/20 campaign due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the men's side can reflect on a fine body of work when time was called. There was growth from the likes of Kyle Simmonds and Rivaldo Moonsamy, in a most competitive first-class competition.
"I think the 2019/2020 season was a challenging one, as a team we were tested off the field with a few coaching changes throughout the season, however this made us take more responsibility as players to make sure we accomplish our set goals" Simmonds recalled.
"I was quite happy with my individual performances but they were only achievable because of the help and support I received from my teammates" he told the Titans website.
Gregory Mahlokwana, Rubin Hermann and Diego Rosier are three graduates from Northerns' 2019/2020 squad to the Titans franchise and Serwadi noted this as a marker of the calibre of players the senior provincial side has produced.
"I would like to congratulate Diego, Rubin and Greg who all came from the senior provincial team and earned their spot in the 2020/2021 Titans Squad. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing players who have done exceptionally well in the previous season being rewarded." she said.
Sewardi's sentiments were echoed by Kyle Simmonds, "Looking ahead there are players that have moved up to higher levels and that shows that we as a team are producing better cricketers, that leaves space for the new guys to show their skills and bring something new to the Northerns environment."
Their forces have been boosted by the first senior contracts for both Merrick Brett and Achille Cloete. Both seamers turned out for the national U19 side in the previous season, and they will now take their first steps as professional players in Northerns colours.
"I feel incredibly blessed and honoured to be given this opportunity" Merrick Brett enthused. "It’s an amazing feeling signing my first contract especially with such a well known and successful cricket union, it's a great feeling and I feel like this is the start of me living my dream of playing cricket professionally." the young seamer said.
Brett spoke with excitement when looking at the prospect of playing with his new teammates.
"Being new to the squad, I’ve played with and against some of my new teammates at club level and I really admire them. I’m looking forward to learning from them as teammates and really looking forward to be playing with them, should I be given then opportunity." Brett concluded.
Women's squad: Lebogang Choeu, Ricea Coetzer, Rode deNysschen, Mignon du Preez, Gandhi Jafta, Michaela Kirk, Monalisa Legodi, Sune Luus, Nomahlubi Makgato, Eliz-Mari Marx, Paulinah Mashishi, Kgalalelo Matsepe, Maria Msiza, Lebogang Nkadimeng, Danelle Oberholtzer, Khanyisile Skhosana, Charmoné Breedt, Prior Katie.
Men's Senior Squad (Contracted): Victor Mahlangu, Kyle Simmonds, Gionne Koopman, Merick Brett, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Luvuyo Nkese, Jiveshan Pillay, Gideon Peters, Tumelo Koto, Evan Jones, Achille Cloete.