Youth Cup success a matter of perspective
REFRESHING was how former Australian Test cricketer Peter George described watching the Bulls Masters Youth Cup this week.
George, who mentored the Mackay and Whitsunday Under-16 Nitros, said he was reminded of playing in similar carnivals during his junior years.
“It’s a great opportunity for these kids; they have the chance to be tested to a degree they haven’t seen yet,” he said.
“I was playing in metro Adelaide, so it’s a bit different, but these comps add that next level of pressure.”
While the Nitros failed to make much of a dent in the competition, George said the harsh reality of losing could leave the team better off than some of the winning sides.
“Depending on your perspective, I think you can chalk this up as a success seeing how the boys bounced back to take the win on Wednesday,” he said.
“After five days of cricket they got up and chased down 130-odd.
“A lot of (this competition) comes down to learning opportunities. I think you learn more on the games you lose.
“Mackay didn’t fare too well, but they saw the necessary energy which (is) the standard at this level of competition. Which is what they brought on the win they got.”
George is still getting accustomed to his professional cricket retirement but said he enjoyed being an off pitch influence.
“I have very fond memories of playing similar competitions myself. It’s funny now, (after) a 14-year professional career and being around the sport so long (it) can change how you view the game,” he said.
“It gives a bit of perspective looking back, but now I see some things unfolding that others can’t. That’s why being a mentor is important, because I can share my experience with these coaches and players.”
The fast-medium bowler said his mentorees were sponges for his advice and the Nitros’ knack for bowling married nicely with his expertise.
“I don’t take any credit for Mackay being a strong bowling side, but it did help my (teaching) that they were bowling orientated,” he said.
“Harry Holmes and Luke Pietzner definitely highlighted bowlers on our side,” George said.
“Jack Dwyer bowled an incredible spell and Riley Jackson leg spin bowled a five-fa on Wednesday.”
“I enjoyed the time with the boys and it certainly makes a difference when they’re keen to learn. They were looking to apply what I said right after I gave feedback.”