Good year for Tayside & Fife Regional Development Centre
2014 has been another successful year for the young cricketers involved with the Tayside & Fife Regional Development Centre. The Centre was launched in 2007/8 and now incorporates 4 areas - Angus, Dundee, Fife, Perth & Kinross. We then combine with the North Regional Development Centre to create the Caledonia Regional Academy at U13, U15 and U18 levels.
Our age group trials and selection for 2014 / 15 took place at the end of September and early October with lots of good talent on show. The squads for 2014/15 are made up of players from each of the 4 areas as follows:
U13 - total 25 (Angus 5; Dundee 5; Fife 6; Perth/Kinross 9)
U15 - total 22 (Angus 6; Dundee 3 including 1 attending National Academy; Fife 7; Perth/Kinross 5; plus one 1 player from East Lothian but at Glenalmond school)
U18 - total 23 (Angus 9 including 2 attending National Academy; Dundee 5 with one attending National Academy; Fife 5 including 3 attending National Academy; Perth/Kinross 4 including 1 attending National Academy)
By having representation from all our areas we hope to show a pathway for all our players in the region, no matter where they play cricket.
The Development Centre is headed up by quality coaches that put player development at the forefront of what they do. The head coaches are Ian Brown (u13) and Fraser Burnett (u15 and u18) and they are well supported by assistant coaches Adam Ferguson, Richard Rennie, James Ross and Iain Stewart. We also invite guest coaches, usually L3 or L4, to run specific skills related coaching sessions at various times during the year.
To complement the training programme we also provide a number of fixtures over the summer to develop the players. Our U18s play matches against local club sides; U15s & U13s play matches against local private schools and each have a match against their counterparts in the North, with the U15 match being a trial to conclude the squad for Inter Regional matches against East and West Academies. For the last 2 years our U15 squad have also had a 2 match trip at the end of May to Cumbria to play against their U14 team.
The group also coordinate `Inter Area` cricket weeks that are run each year at Doo’cot Park in early July for U12 and U14 sides from Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth/Kinross. These have been used to assist with identifying prospective players for the Tayside & Fife Regional Development Centre trials in September. However, we have reviewed this structure and in 2015 we plan to do away with the cricket weeks and replace with 6 inter area matches at U12 and U14 level that are played home and away on local club grounds.
As always finding suitable facilities to deliver our programmes, particularly indoors, is a constant challenge. We lost a superb facility at Harris Academy in 2013 so currently use the Sports Hall at Grove Academy which only has 2 lanes. The facilities at Loch Leven Community Campus in Kinross and its equivalent at the North Inch in Perth are good facilities as well but both are heavily booked.
With the lack of quality facilities, Dundee Cricket Development Group is working closely with local authority partners to identify a suitable Dundee venue as a centre for much of the indoor requirements of cricket across Caledonia in the future. Hopefully we can get the support of the wider community to make this happen which would be a huge step forward for cricket in the region.
Overall, the Development Centre continues to be an integral part of cricket in Tayside & Fife. During the 2014 season a total of 14 players from Tayside & Fife represented Scotland at either U15 or U17 levels and we hope to achieve close to this level next season. In order to keep producing quality players the group hope to keep improving the training and playing opportunities we offer, along with the facilities we provide for this to happen. Hopefully, with the support of the local cricket community, local authority partners and Cricket Scotland, we can continue to develop cricket in the region.