PROMISING former Kangaroo Flat cricketers Ryan O'Keefe and Luke Stagg have put themselves in contention to represent Victoria at next year's Under-19 National Championships.
The Roos pair will continue to have their development fast-tracked after being named in Cricket Victoria's under-19 emerging performance squad.
A 58-player squad is headlined by a trio of current Victorian squad members - Maryborough's promising fast bowler Cam McClure, who plays Victorian Premier Cricket with Essendon, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Wil Parker.
It was selected based on performances in club cricket, the Youth Premier League and Youth National Championships last season.
O'Keefe, a talented all-rounder, who represented Victoria at the Under-17 National Championships in 2018, is continuing to play Premier Cricket with Carlton.
Fellow all-rounder Stagg played a mix of second and third grade district cricket with carton last season.
Squad members have undertaken a series of virtual training sessions in recent months, featuring high-performance coaches, industry experts, former international players, decorated coach Greg Shipperd and current Victorian players Peter Handscomb, Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris.
Cricket Victoria's Jarrad Loughman, who is leading the program, said it was hoped the sessions would soon move to the CitiPower Centre at the Junction Oval when State Government and health advice allowed.
"The way the players have embraced the program throughout the early stages is a reflection of their excellent attitude and eagerness to develop all elements of their game," Loughman said.
"We're looking forward to hopefully utilising the full benefits of our facilities at the CitiPower Centre in the coming months.
"No official announcement has been made yet regarding the status of the National Championships but we are hopeful it'll go ahead in April (in Adelaide) and provide an opportunity for Victorian players to test themselves against the country's best underage talent.
"Ultimately we want to expose squad members to a range of quality cricket opportunities that provide both challenges and satisfaction, whilst complementing their continued growth as young Victorian cricketers within club environments and their own individual skill development."
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