Emu skipper honour
By TONY WHITE
GRAFTON teenager Matt Ryan was been afforded an enormous honour after being named captain of the Emus Cricket Club Under-21 team to tour New Zealand.
The 19-year-old former McAuley College student and Brothers first grade player will lead the 12-man squad on a 20-day tour of the Christchurch district, playing nine games.
"It's a very big honour. I'm extremely happy to be picked, especially as captain," Ryan said.
Selected players are considered not only for their cricket prowess but also for their conduct, ability to act as ambassadors and exemplary conduct.
Ryan was selected for the tour after attending trials at Tamworth last weekend involving 46 players from around NSW.
The Emu Cricket Club was founded in the 1940s by James 'Boss' White and has a long tradition of touring squads to New Zealand, Argentina and Europe.
Ryan is following in the footsteps of numerous other Clarence Valley cricketers including South stalwart John Frame and Australian cricket heroes like Doug Walters who previously toured with the Emus.
While the full itinary is not yet available one of the tour highlights is certain to be a 3day test match against the Christchurch Colts.
Ryan, a powerful right hand batsman, has accrued an impressive list of representative credentials.
Last season he was voted Clarence River Cricket Association Representative Player of the Year.
He also represented the North Coast in Under-19, Under-21 and Opens and last year toured New Zealand as vice captain of the North Coast Under-19 team and was selected in the Combined Catholic Colleges team, but due to other cricket commitments had to withdraw.
"It was a huge year last year and hopefully this one will be just as big if not bigger," Ryan said.
"I can't wait for the cricket season to start.
"Things are really great at the moment. Work (Super Cheap Auto, Grafton) were kind enough to let me have time off for the trials and now I'm heading to New Zealand." YDNEY. ? Injured Socceroos skipper Craig Moore says he wants to play both legs of next month's World Cup playoff despite conceding he won't return to the pitch until late October.
The veteran defender also believes coach Guus Hiddink may struggle to carry out his plan to rest players for the first leg of the Socceroos' playoff against the fifth-placed South Americans.
Hiddink this week said he was considering keeping some of his charges fresh for the second home leg of the qualifier in Sydney with several key players still under injury clouds.
Moore has not played for English club Newcastle this season and will miss the Socceroos' friendly against Jamaica in London on Monday ? their last hit-out before the World Cup qualifiers - because of a hamstring injury.
He said he would return to training with Newcastle next week, and hoped to make his comeback, likely with the club's reserves, in a few weeks.
That would leave him with less than a handful of games to get match-fit for the qualifiers on November 12 and 15.
But after a decade working towards getting Australia into the World Cup finals, Moore explained his desire to play both games in what will be a gruelling four days for both sides.
"Personally for me, (playing) the two games, as long as I'm fit, wouldn't be a problem," Moore said from the Socceroos training camp in Holland.
"I've done it, I've done it the last time, and we've got the medical staff now that look after you after the game to make sure your recovery is correct, and there's training leading into the next game."