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Teenage opener a chip off the old block for North Kalgoorlie

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
North Kalgoorlie’s Fletcher Edwards acknowledges the crowd after making a century in the Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association under-17 grand final.
Camera IconNorth Kalgoorlie’s Fletcher Edwards acknowledges the crowd after making a century in the Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association under-17 grand final. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

North Kalgoorlie teenager Fletcher Edwards says he is happy to take a slow and steady approach to his fledgling senior career in the Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association but his burgeoning talents could override his own high expectations.

As club officials look to develop emerging talent with an eye on the future, Edwards, 16, might be the pick of the crop.

The young opener a fortnight ago compiled a match-winning 104 in the under-17 grand final against Great Boulder.

His maiden ton, carved from 122 deliveries with four boundaries and a six, was a perfect captain’s knock that underpinned Norths’ 7-223 and earned him player-of-the-match honours.

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It was a big moment in his career for Edwards, whose family ties run deep at Norths and include his grandfather Bob Turner, who is a life member of both Norths and the EGCA.

His cousin, Trent Mais, is A-grade captain.

Edwards said it meant he was never going to play for another club but it also carried a degree of pressure as the latest among a long line of family members who have excelled for Norths.

“There’s definitely some pressure because virtually everyone in my family played for North Kalgoorlie,” he said.

“Part of that is that we (Fletcher and his grandfather) talk quite regularly and every conversation is mostly about cricket.

“We could literally talk about cricket for hours, so I felt pretty relieved to get that (maiden century).

“About a month before the (under-17 final), I made 95 (in the round nine B-grade match against Lake View) and was really close to doing it (scoring 100).

“My mindset once I got into the 90s (in the junior final) was to just get to 100 and don’t do anything stupid.

“As wickets started falling, I kept asking the other batters, ‘what am I on’.

“I felt calmer when I knew what I was on but I still had to keep telling myself to stay focused and concentrating the entire time.”

Even with a B-grade ton against his name, Edwards said a handful of A-grade matches this season had severely tested him.

“It’s a massive step up and a huge learning experience,” he said.

“The bowing is definitely a lot quicker and the captains are a lot smarter with their field positioning and how they handle their bowling changes.

“It’s been great experience; Trent sees stuff that I wouldn’t see and it just opens my mind up.”

Edwards was the only Goldfields player named for this month’s Country Colts Invitational match in Perth.

The match was scheduled to be played last weekend, but was postponed due to extreme heat protocols.

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