Ireland Under 19 Pen Pics
Andrew Balbirnie (captain, Pembroke) A stylish and composed top-order batsman and an economical off-spinner, Andrew contributed significantly to last year's under-17 European Championship victory (not least with an 86 against Scotland ). He scored a century for Ireland 'A' last month against a Yorkshire XI.
Jack Blakiston Houston (Instonians) Affiliated to the Instonians club, but playing most of his cricket in England , Jack took 4 wickets for MCC against Ireland U-19s in a trial match at Carrickfergus in 2008, which brought him to the selectors attention. He is also a very accomplished batsman.
George Dockrell ( Leinster ) A canny slow-left-armer who has won many admirers for his willingness to flight the ball, George has come from nowhere over the past year to become an integral part of the Irish set-up. He was man-of-the-tournament at the CLICO U-15 World Cup in 2008.
Shane Getkate (Malahide) A tall, quick opening bowler and a more than useful lower-middle order batsman, Getkate has caught the eye of Warwickshire and is another of the Irish squad who has both Ireland 'A' and under-19 World Cup experience.
Graham McDonnell (Pembroke) An accomplished all-rounder, McDonnell regularly features in the Leinster senior averages with the bat, while as a skiddy and accurate medium-pacer he has a useful knack of breaking key partnerships.
Lee Nelson (Waringstown) Yet another accomplished all-rounder, Nelson proved to be an excellent captain in last year’s under-17 tournament in Belfast and as a solid opener and off-spinner he has been a crucial member of the Irish youth squads over the past few years.
Eddie Richardson ( North County ) Scion of the famous Mooney cricketing dynasty, Richardson has been scoring runs consistently in the middle order for his club and, as a sharpish change bowler he is one of the leading wicket-takers in senior league cricket in Leinster .
James Shannon (Instonians) James Shannon is a confident and dangerous batsman who has been scoring plenty of runs for the Instonians club, while his under-rated off-spin makes him a valuable all-rounder in the squad. He is on the books of English county side Worcestershire.
Craig Young (Bready) Highly-regarded by the Irish management, Young opens the bowling regularly and with good pace for his club in North-West Senior One and is a more than useful customer with the bat in the lower order.
Stuart Poynter (Middlesex) A very competent wicket-keeper batsman who played in the 2008 World Cup in Malaysia. His tidy glove work, coupled with his attacking batting make him an integral member of the squad.
Stuart Thompson (Eglinton) A very stylish top order batsman, who scored a match winning century as Ireland defeated Scotland to win the Under 17 European Championships in 2008. He also features regularly for Eglinton in the NW league as an opening bowler.
Graeme McCarter (Killyclooney) Opening seam bowler who has attracted the attention of Gloucestershire. His raw pace makes him a real handful for batsmen. A powerful striker of the ball, he can also contribute runs down the order.
Paul Stirling (Carrickfergus) Prolific top order batsman who is now a regular in the Ireland senior side, playing in ther recent ICC World Twenty20 game with Pakistan. A powerful striker of the ball, he scores his runs quickly, and is sure to have a bright future in the game. He has a summer contract with Middlesex, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce. He is also a more than useful off spin bowler.
Ben Ackland (Merrion) Another off-spinning all-rounder, Ben is on Worcestershire’s books and has plenty of experience at international under-19 level, having opened the batting at the 2008 World Cup in Malaysia .