They man not have won the National League Premier Division title this year, but Queen’s Park Cricket Club are not giving up on their tried and tested strategy of giving youngsters a chance to shine at the highest level.
This season is no different, said Queen’s Park coach David Furlonge, who revealed that former Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 middle order batsman Savion Lara will be getting his chance to shine at the higher level after being selected to travel to England to train with County side Somerset as part of a scholarship programme started by Queen’s Park’s very own home-grown star Kieron Pollard.
Furlonge said that Pollard started the scholarship programme last year to give young players a chance to travel to England to train with his team Somerset and play in the Somerset League.
“Last year all-rounder Akeal Hosein was selected and this year he (Pollard) has chosen Savion Lara. It is a great opportunity for the player,” the coach stated.
He was also pleased that the club’s players are embracing the idea of helping to develop their younger players, which is said was one of the cornerstones to the club’s many successes over the last few years.
“We will continue to focus on the young players because they are our future players,” he told the Express as rain washed out the opening day of the National League Twenty20 Festival at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre yesterday.
Even before he left, Lara was already building a reputation for himself. Furlonge said Lara played in the club’s Championship Division team, scoring 154 and 65 in one match before leaving.
“We have a good youth programme, which is over 50 years old and we now hoping to improve on that programme.”
And with the League just concluded, the Parkites are already planning for the future with Under-19 players Tion Webster, Jesse Bootan and Jeremy Solozano all getting a chance in the Queen’s Park Premier Division team.
The coach said Queen’s Park are always looking to the future and expects the younger players to play a big role in their quest to reclaim the title in 2014.
He said: “We are disappointed (about not winning the league) but we just have to say we did not play well enough. We knew what we had to do and just did not get it done.
“We had young all-rounder Tion Webster making his debut. Sherwin Peters got a chance in the last game and took five for five. We have Jason Batson, a young off-break bowler who for some reason is not in the national Under-19 squad. But we will continue to give them the opportunities.
“The main thing is to give them the opportunity and not keep them down for too long.”