A YOUTH arm of Dunfermline and Carnegie Cricket Club are ready to bowl their first ball of the new season and are eager to recruit more players.

The Dunfermline and Carnegie Comets begin their 2017 campaign on Thursday April 20 at McKane Park and are hopeful that, by arranging fixtures with teams from further afield, they will attract more youngsters along to try their hand at the sport.

Established in 2012 with a view to getting kids involved in cricket from an early age, the set-up has gone from strength-to-strength since and has seen a number of youngsters – including Dylan Wood, James Honeyford and Connor Reid previously – make the step-up to playing senior cricket.

Lindsay Ferguson, the club's youth convenor, said: "Following very successful indoor coaching at Masterton Primary School the club has set up an ambitious set of fixtures. In addition to the traditional fixtures in Fife against Falkland, Freuchie and Largo, the club has fixtures against Strathmore and Perth clubs such as Perth Doo'cot, Meigle and Forfarshire, and Central teams such as Stirling and Clackmannan. The main emphasis will be to develop our under-11 hard ball team, and there will be new developments such as more small-sided games, shorter wickets, shorter boundaries and coloured cricket balls.

"The club is still looking for players in S1 and S2 to play for the under-13s and under-15s, who also have wide fixture lists, and the club is beginning its traditional programme of visits to 16 local primary schools to deliver six sessions to P6 pupils. These culminate in the Dunfermline and West Fife Kwik Cricket Festival, the winners of which will be looking to emulate the achievement of Bellyeoman Primary School, who finished sixth in the Scottish finals."

Earlier this month, Press Sport reported that Dunfermline and Carnegie had registered for a Cricket Scotland initiative called 'All Stars Cricket', which will attempt to try and turn the game into one of Scotland's mainstream sports.

The coaching scheme, launched last month by the governing body, is also run by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and will offer an eight-week programme, starting in May, for children aged between 5-8 to enjoy a first, fun experience of cricket in a safe and inclusive environment.

Lindsay added: "Soon the club will be pushing forward an ECB initiative called All Stars which provides a programme of fun cricket sessions during the summer for boys and girls in P1, P2 and P3. This will be widely advertised and details of our local centre will soon be finalised.

"The club is still looking to recruit new players both boys and girls from P4 to S3. Any players who enjoyed the cricket sessions at Primary School but couldn’t participate at that time are invited to the Thursday evening sessions at McKane Park. We do need some under-15 players and all coaches are ECB qualified and are PVG approved."

Anyone interested can go along on the evening from 6.30pm or contact Lindsay on 07766984434.