Indigenous Sports Queensland



Former Queensland Country allrounder Keith Charles will make a return to the Queensland Imparja Cup squad for the 2008-09 national indigenous titles in Alice Springs.

The 31-year-old from Oakey last played in the Imparja Cup in 2005 but will provide his experience to a youthful Queensland line-up that was announced this week following a comprehensive State-wide series of trials.

Of the 13 players named in the squad, eight are aged 19 or younger, with 16-year-old Ingham product Trent Clements the youngest.

Clements has won a spot in the squad through the Australia Post Queensland Cricket Emerging Players scheme, having been identified as a promising player through the Eddie Gilbert indigenous talent ID scheme.

The squad will again be captained by 19-year-old Townsville wicket-keeper Bradley Stout, who will turn 20 the week before the titles, while Michael Mainhardt returns as coach.

Queensland is the defending titles holders having won four of the past five titles contested.

Charles, a former first grade player with Norths in Brisbane, was a member of the 2004-05 Queensland Country team that won the Australian Country championships in Lismore.

Queensland Cricket specialist programs co-ordinator Nev Paulsen said this year’s selection had been a challenging one due to the number of players to consider.

“It’s very encouraging to see the growth in Queensland’s playing depth and strength and the trials we conducted around the State produced a number of very good players for us to look at,’’ he said.

“It’s also exciting to note that a number of the players in the squad are being picked in State and regional representative teams away from the Imparja Cup, so the opportunities for greater exposure for indigenous players is definitely on the rise,’’ he said.

New faces in the 2008-09 squad include Wynnum-Manly’s Cameron Trask, Wide Bay pace bowler Ashley Renouf, Toombul’s Mark Thompson and Clements.

2008-09 Queensland Imparja Cup squad, 11-16 February, Alice Springs:

Bradley Stout (Townsville, c), Nigel Beer (Mackay), Will Davis (Beenleigh/Logan), Ben Mainhardt (Northern Suburbs), Eddie Mills-Grant (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Michael Strange (Northern Suburbs), Chris Swain (Rockhampton), Preston White (Toombul), Cameron Trask (Wynnum-Manly), Ashley Renouf (Wide Bay), Mark Thompson (Toombul), Keith Charles (Oakey), Trent Clements (Ingham). Coaches: Michael Mainhardt, Joe Marsh.