WA's Next Generation Ready To Rumble
23 November 2016  

Western Australia’s Female Under-18 side begin their National Championships in Hobart today, with four debutants and an import.

Gemma Cassidy (South Perth), Lauren Nicholson (Subiaco Floreat), Georgie Ireland (Melville) and Emma Meuleman (South Perth) will all make their State Under-18 debuts. 

Lauren Nicholson makes the cut after arriving in Australia with her family just 11 months ago from Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Nicholson had previously represented the province of Johannesburg, however, since moving to Australia has already played state indoor cricket for WA and now completes the double by running out for the Female Under-18 state cricket side. 

WA coach Orazio Santalucia said the team is in great shape to be title contenders. 

"The team has worked hard leading into this tournament,” Santalucia said. 

"The most pleasing aspect for me is how smart the girls have been in their preparation and how maturely they’ve gone about it for such a young group. 

"Many of the girls have just finished their year 12 exams as well, so getting the team back into a cricketing mind set will be a challenge but I’m confident they will be able to perform.” 

Victoria are the reigning champions, surprisingly defeating New South Wales who had won the previous 11 Under-18 national titles. 

Meuleman continues the famous WA cricketing name, with her grandfather Ken captaining WA and scoring nearly 8,000 first class runs during a stellar career. 

"Emma captained the Under-15s last year and has now progressed into the Under-18s set-up,” Santalucia said. 

"Although Emma will be one of our strike bowlers, she is also very handy with the bat which is rare in the tail end of the line-up.” 

WA gets its campaign underway on Wednesday against Tasmania. Follow their progress via MyCricket

WA squad:

Gemma Cassidy (South Perth), Caitlin Crocetta (South Perth), Chloe Wain (South West/South Perth), Rebecca West (Melville), Niamh Walsh (Melville), Lauren Nicholson (Subiaco Floreat), Georgie Ireland (Melville), Jess Emery (Subiaco Floreat), Sheldyn Cooper (Midland-Guildford), Georgie Middleton (Great Southern/Melville), Emma Meuleman (South Perth), Ashlee King (Melville), Sarah Patman (South Perth)