South Western Districts Cricket recently announced the names of their Academy Intake for 2016. This will be the 7th intake of the SWD Cricket Academy and over the years provincial players like Marcello Piedt, Brendon Louw, Hanno Kotze, Otneill Baartman, Lyndon Volkwyn and Nelson Setimani emerged from the academy.
The academy program is one of the pipeline development programs that is funded by Cricket South Africa. The aim of the program is the retention and development of cricket players with a specific focus on black African players and a holistic approach to player development. The specific identification of talent that is based on focused succession planning will be important to ensure the success of the program.
The SWD Cricket High Performance coach, André du Plessis, who is also responsible for the management and elite coaching of the Academy said that provincial academies are seen as one of the most important links between the identification and development of players at junior (school) level and there continual growth towards future professional cricket. SWD cricket had its first academy intake in 2010.
Education, facilities as well as sports science, medical, conditioning and other support is provided by SWD Cricket with NMMU as an important partner. The academy also makes provision for player support and guidance through the SACA (SA Cricketers Association) Player Plus Program.
The intake is: Coenie Nel, Mthobeli Bangindawa, Ayabonga Khitshini, Wian Oostuizen, Lance Roelfse and Johandre Barnard (all members of the 2015 intake that will continue with the program), Dylon Nuys, Sachin Arries, Timo Smuts, Shalton Ngonyama, Bradley De Villiers, Athenkosi Mapono, Mihlali Gcanga and Bradley Aarons (newly identified cricketers added to the program).