Emerald girl secures spot in state academy
A CRICKET player from the Central Highlands has been selected for a prestigious state academy.
Bonnie Berry from Emerald Brothers Cricket Club has secured a spot in the Central Queensland and Mackay-Whitsunday squad for Queensland Cricket's 2019-20 Youth Pathways Academy.
The academy's program is design to fast track cricket development to help players achieve success at future youth championships and eventually first class and international cricket.
Berry is one of only six players from Central Queensland selected for the squad and the only player outside of Rockhampton.
Central Queensland and Mackay-Whitsunday coach and talent development specialist Bruce Deem said the Youth Pathways Academy was a nine month program which ran until March 2020.
"With Bonnie out here on her own, we'll be doing a lot of one-on-one sessions,” Mr Deem said.
"But I'll be inviting some other local players - probably (in) October (or) November - to some sessions so we can do some game scenarios and wicket practice.”
Mr Deem said Berry also had access to the Athlete Management Program (AMS) used by Australia's national cricket players which would give her some guidance as to what to expect.
While he didn't expect to see "major improvements” in one season, Mr Deem said he hoped that over the next two to three years, he would see significant changes in Berry's skills.
"Just having a look at some video footage of Bonnie with her bowling, we're going to start working on her bowling action and run-up soon,” Mr Deem said.
"... Sometimes that doesn't always happen or happen overnight - it can take some time.
"That's why we're going to start it now during the off season, so hopefully we're closer to where we need to be when the season starts.
"We'll work on her batting, obviously and fielding.
"We'll be spending a lot of time on fielding because fielding in our eyes is as important as batting and bowling.
"If you can't field, you're not going to make any teams, so you really need to be a good fielder as well.”
Mr Deem said he and Queensland Cricket would be "pretty surprised” if Berry didn't make a regional team in the near future.
"This year she'll be in the under 15s state carnival. Whether she gets through to the state side, I'm not sure at this point but I would imagine she'll certainly go well at that state carnival and we'll see how the results go,” Mr Deem said.
Berry's mum Carmel said it was a "pretty big privilege” for her daughter to be selected for the academy.
She said she would support Berry if she wanted to continue playing cricket and vie for the state or national teams.
"At the moment she needs to improve her skills a bit,” Ms Berry said.
Ms Berry said the academy was a great pathway for young cricketers who lived in rural areas.