Five games from the World Cup - U19s raring for Netherlands chance
Guernsey are out to upset the odds as they head to the Netherlands this week looking to earn a place at the 2024 ICC Under-19 Men’s World Cup.
They will play 50-over games against the hosts, Scotland, Italy, Norway and Jersey for a spot at next year’s event.
‘We’re very excited – everybody is raring to go,’ said Guernsey U19 captain Ollie Clapham.
‘We have worked hard all year to be ready and I am confident that we will perform well, especially since a lot of the guys in the team have been playing regularly in the top divisions of local cricket.
‘I think that in this tournament everyone will be capable of beating everyone, and it all takes is a few good results to give us a good chance.’
The Sarnian U19 team booked their spot in this final qualification stage last summer, as they made it all the way to the final of the Division Two qualifiers, which were held in Guernsey.
‘Last year was a nice taster of what an ICC competition is like, so it’s good to have got that experience under our belts ahead of this one,’ Clapham said.
‘Our team has changed a bit since then – we have picked based on who’s done well this year.
‘We also have a good relationship as a group, as a lot of us have played together and been good mates since U11 level.’
Ben Ferbrache, who will be coaching the team in the Netherlands, added; ‘We know that it is going to be a very tough competition, but it’s so exciting to think that we’re potentially only five games away from reaching a World Cup.
Listen to this week's Guernsey Press Sport Podcast for more local cricket chat
‘The players are absolutely buzzing to go away, and it is such a fantastic opportunity for them.
‘We want to perform well against the teams around us – Italy and Norway were both in the qualifiers last summer so we know a bit about them.
‘I think Scotland will be strong, and then with Netherlands we are not sure what to expect.
‘We’re at quite a similar level to Jersey – we played against them last year and lost very narrowly.
‘All it takes is a few good performances.’
Guernsey depart on Friday and the tournament starts on Sunday.
Charlie Birch, Dan Brown, Blake Carre, Ollie Clapham (captain), Harry Duke, Charlie Forshaw, Harry Johnson, Max Johnson, Joe Marshall, Anthony Merrien, Fintan Ridgwick, Will Stewart, Dan Thomas, Marcus Thomas.