Goulburn to host NSW Country Cricket Championships in November

On Tuesday May 7, the Goulburn and District Cricket Association announced on Facebook that it would host the 2019 NSW Country Cricket Championships.

Winners: GDCA's Brad Smith (left) and Josh Watling are all smiles as they hoist the Country Championships trophy after their grand final win over Central Coast. Photo: Supplied.

Winners: GDCA's Brad Smith (left) and Josh Watling are all smiles as they hoist the Country Championships trophy after their grand final win over Central Coast. Photo: Supplied.

The Championships are slated to take place in November, across a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the dates yet to be confirmed, at Seiffert Oval and Prell Oval.

GDCA president, Tim Price, said that the news was exciting for the association and it was the first time to his knowledge that Goulburn had hosted the event.

"We're excited to host it," Price said.

"We've got the new pavilion at Seiffert Oval, and it just shows what's possible with new facilities."

The Country Championships feature teams made up of the best cricketers from the ACT and regional NSW divided into two pools; one northern and one southern.

The ACT Southern Districts side, which featured three GDCA players in the 2018/19 competition, dominated the southern pool and made its way to the grand final in February, where it defeated the Central Coast.

The opportunity to see local cricketers take part in a prestigious competition is one that Price believes will benefit the GDCA community.

"It's a very high standard of cricket," he said.

"Obviously it's too early to know the makeup of any potential teams who are participating ... but hopefully the ACT Southern Districts team, we had a couple of blokes in last year from [GDCA] backgrounds, so if we can get one or two in again that generates local interest."

The opportunity to host the Championships came about by chance for the GDCA, and Price explained that the association was approached by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council after the council had expressed an interest in hosting the event to Cricket NSW.

From there, Cricket NSW inspected Seiffert Oval and Prell Oval, and Goulburn got the green light to host the Championships.

Former Hibo Gold captain and ACT Southern Districts representative, Brad Smith, said that the opportunity for local cricketers to play at such a high level in front of their home crowd is "awesome."

"Hopefully a few of the Goulburn guys can try and get in the team again and represent ACT Southern Districts in Goulburn."

The chance to watch high-level cricket at home will also not be lost on the GDCA's younger members.

"It can only be a positive thing, and hopefully it helps revitalise the interest in cricket in the Goulburn community," Smith said.

Smith added that it was "a really good effort" on the part of the GDCA and the council to ensure that Goulburn's cricketing facilities were beyond the required standard.

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