2024 Northern Knights, Emerging Knights and Emerging Players Programme Squads

Apr 15, 2024 | General News, Knight's News, Men's News

After another busy winter of indoor training the 2024 Northern Knights, Emerging Knights and Emerging Players Programme Squads have been announced.

Chair of Selectors Andrew Cowden commented on the first squad announcement of the new season: “I would like to congratulate all the players named in the Knights, Emerging Knights and EPP squads and I wish them well in their seasons ahead at club, provincial and international level. I’m pleased that our Senior Knights squad of 17 players has an average age of 23 with seven Full Irish internationals as well as five Ireland Wolves capped players.

Mark Adair will again captain the side when his Irish commitments allow with James McCollum deputising in his absence. We are delighted to have Sam Topping back and available for a block of games during the season and we thank Sussex CC and Paul Farbrace for their willingness and cooperation in facilitating this opportunity for Sam. I’m also pleased to see Josh Manley and Jordan Neill have been placed with Munster Reds as well as Ryan Hunter going on a season-long loan there and we hope this allows them to maximise their IP playing opportunities.

I’m equally pleased that our Emerging squad of 14 has an average age of 19 with six of this year’s Irish U19 squad included along with four previous Irish U19 internationals.  CJ Van der Walt will captain our Emerging squad this season bringing some experience after a very successful season leading Carrick CC in 2023. I would like to thank all the players, coaches and in particular, Head Coach Simon Johnston for their hard work during the winter programme. I know Simon has been impressed and very pleased with the players’ development, dedication, and work ethic. We took the decision this year to combine all Senior and Emerging Knights training sessions to offer five skills sessions a week to all players.

This allowed all players from both squads to avail of more sessions per week as well as more flexibility to fit their sessions around their work, school, or University commitments. All players were asked to attend a maximum of three and a minimum of two sessions per week and this additional contact time has been a massive success. The EPP programme has continued to go from strength to strength with ten selected 12–17-year-olds getting weekly small squad and 1:1 sessions and this will continue over the summer.

This additional contact time over the winter and summer months with the players has been another improvement and benefit of the programme. The players also attend some selected Senior Knights sessions to challenge them further and take them out of their comfort zone. The selectors would also like to stress that these are the squads selected at this moment in time and that all doors remain open to all players to push their claim with the form and performances during the NCU season.

Finally, in addition to continued support from Cricket Ireland, we have been able to offer physio support to all players and two strength and Conditioning sessions per week.  I would like to thank Stuart Thompson, and Rob McKinley for their tireless work in this area and to Julia and Lynsey for their continued physio support.”


Reigning double Inter-Provincial champions Northern Knights begin their season on 1st May against North West Warriors at Pembroke in the IP20.