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The Northern Cricket Union announce the Northern Knights Squads

NCU Representative Directorate

The NCU Representative Directorate has announced the Knights Squads for 2017. This year there are two squads, one for the 3-day and 50 over matches and one for the T20 matches. The NCU has also selected a squad of Emerging Knights for whom a series of matches have been arranged.

All players in the various squads play in the NCU leagues and all are eligible to play for Ireland. Under the guidance of newly appointed coach Simon Johnston all the selected players have worked very hard this winter on their fitness and skills and intend to hit the ground running and are looking forward to pitting their skills against the other unions.

Selectors Andrew White, Ryan Eagleson, Robin Haire and Coach Simon Johnston are pleased with the winter preparations and are also happy to give the local players their chance to shine. It is not intended to play any overseas players in the selected teams.

NCU chairman Alan Waite said: “I cannot speak highly enough of the commitment of the players and head coach Simon Johnston over the last five months. They have already completed almost thirty sessions – A combination of fitness, cricket based skills and cross over activities with other sports. All players in the group have attained the fitness standards laid out at the start of the programme. The camaraderie and spirit of the group has been excellent.

Working with the other lead provincial coaches Albert van der Merwe and Ian McGregor, a full programme of fixtures for the emerging players has also been put in place for 2017. This is a vitally important component, in order to allow our better young players to test themselves against stronger opposition.

With the return to Leinster of some of the leading Irish players, the Knights are under no illusion of the challenges that lie ahead, but will enter the competitive matches with confidence that they are fit and well prepared. I wish all the players and coaching staff well for the season ahead.”

New coach Simon Johnston said: “After three hard months of winter training we are delighted to be able to announce our two Senior Knights squads. On top of this and different from what’s gone before, we are also announcing an Emerging Knights squad of 10 players. This is a mix of players on the fringes of the senior squads who we feel have the potential to play for the Senior Knights within the next 12-24 months.

We have worked very hard to secure a number of tough fixtures for the Emerging Knights over the summer. These games are vital going forward as we feel that this is the best route for players currently outside the senior squads to force their way in.

On a personal level I’d like to thank all the players involved over the winter for their efforts and commitment to date. A huge thanks as well to the many coaches who have come in over many weekends and evenings to help out with the squads. A special mention must go to our Captain James Shannon who has led from the front on every level and who has set the benchmark very high for all the guys to follow.”

James Shannon captains the Knights for the second year and is full of praise for the efforts of the coach Simon Johnston. James said: "The winter training schedule led by Simon and his support staff has been first class. As a squad we have not been better prepared for what will be a tough but exciting summer of cricket. The players have bought into everything that has been thrown at them and are now ready for the task ahead, determined to build on the good things we achieved in last year’s campaign."

Northern Knights squad for 3 day and 50 over matches
James Shannon (captain)
Adam Berry
Stephen Bunting
Adam Dennison
Chris Dougherty
Phil Eaglestone
Shane Getkate
Gary Kidd
Graeme McCarter
James McCollum
Robert McKinley
Jacob Mulder
Lee Nelson
Nathan Smith
Nikolai Smith
Greg Thompson
  Northern Knights T20 squad
James Shannon (captain)
Adam Berry
Stephen Bunting
Adam Dennison
Chris Dougherty
Michael Gilmour
Shane Getkate
Alex Haggan
Gary Kidd
Craig Lewis
Graeme McCarter
Robert McKinley
Jacob Mulder
Lee Nelson
Nikolai Smith
Greg Thompson
  Emerging Players squad
Jamie Holmes
Craig Lewis
Alex Haggan
Michael Gilmour
James Magowan
Mark Berry
Curtis Moorehead
James Mitchell
James Magee
Morgan Topping