QUEANBEYAN is the logical stepping stone for Goulburn’s most talented junior cricketers hoping to take their sport to the next level.
That’s according to passionate Goulburn cricket dad Stacey Klower who has been one of the driving forces behind this weekend’s inaugural Luke Bush Shield.
The Shield is the brainchild of Klower and Queanbeyan Cricket stalwart Michael Frost after the two got to talking at a junior South Coast representative trial featuring their respective sons last year.
It will see an under-13s side and an under-15s outfit Queanbeyan taking on their Goulburn counterparts in two Twenty20 matches at Freebody Oval on Sunday.
As well as serving to expose those players involved to an inter-district, representative style clash, Klower said he also hopes the concept will further cement the already existing bonds between the two clubs.
“For our more talented kids when they’re getting to be 16 or 17, if they’re not going straight up to Sydney, then playing in the ACT is probably the best option for them,” Klower said.
“I think it’s pretty logical if they do that to go to Queanbeyan. We’re pretty similar sorts of towns so Queanbeyan’s a bit more like home
“It’s only an hour down the road as well so if they want they can stay living up here and just travel down a couple of times a week for training and for games.”
Queanbeyan and Goulburn cricket have long held a close association. Current Bluebags Sam Taylor, Jordan Lees and Jack Murdoch among others hail from Goulburn.
And Frost said Queanbeyan was keen to maintain those ties with the potential to tap future talent from the region.
“Hopefully what comes out of it is that if in a couple of years there’s a good 17-year-old kid in Goulburn who wants to come down to Canberra then his first point of call is Queanbeyan,” he said.
“The kids will know the club, they’ll know the facilities that we’ve got here and so it’s just about keeping those connections going.”
The Shield is named in honour of former Goulburn and Queanbeyan cricketer Luke Bush who was killed in a car crash in 2010.
Luke’s father Michael will be in attendance to present the Shield.
Frost, meanwhile, said there were no current plans to expand the Luke Bush Shield in future to encompass more teams or other associations.
But he said that could be an option should the initial concept prove successful.