Hooper To Coach New York Youths

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He was rated among the most elegant of batsmen around and was admired wherever he displayed those unique batting skills. Carl Hooper never played in America, but intends to give something back to the sport here when he visits New York next month for an extended stay.

The former West Indies captain, who resides in Australia will utilize most of that time coaching the New York Under-19 team members preparing for 2009 season which will provide two golden opportunities for the Region’s team. New York will defend its title in the United States Under-19 championship and players will be vying for places on the U.S. squad to contest the ICC Americas competition that will determine the qualifiers for the Youth World Cup next year.

Hooper’s training stint will be part of an extensive preparation program planned for the New York juniors who will be gunning for their third straight national title. His brother Lester Hooper, who manages the squad said, the Adelaide-based Carl Hooper will arrive in New York in the middle of February and will join forces with team coach Linden Fraser in whipping the team into shape.

He will be here for a few months and has gladly accepted the opportunity to work with the boys,” Lester Hooper said. Hooper had shown interest in working with New York players for some time now, and he has that opportunity now, his brother declared. Squad members have already started indoor net sessions under Lester Hooper’s supervision.

Carl Hooper last visited New York two years ago en-route to Australia after an invitation to play in a special West Indies All Star celebrity game in Barbados that launched the opening of the new Kensington Oval stadium that hosted the 2007 World Cup final. He was the toast of the New York cricket fraternity during that brief stopover and no doubt his presence next month in the Big Apple and his contribution to the junior players will be highly appreciated.

According to Lester Hooper, the New York Under-19 team’s goal is to pull off a hat-trick of national title wins this year and have strong representation in the U.S. team in the ICC Americas competition that will include arch rivals Canada and Bermuda. “I am quite certain we can take our play to another level this year and even influence a good performance in the World Cup (Youth),” stated the manager.

He pointed out that 10 members will be eligible from the championship winning 2008 squad and is on the lookout for additional talent. Already, Lester Hooper has identified the son of former West Indies first class fast bowler Casper Davis, at a recent training session. He said youngster has a fair clip of pace for a 16-year-old and is making arrangements to involve him in his preparations.

The manager is also working on having back batsman Javein Thomas who was dropped from last year’s squad for disciplinary issues. Lester Hooper said he is aiming to sort out the player’s behavioral conduct with his father and persuade coach Fraser along those lines. “Thomas is one of the most talented young batsmen in New York and we want to utilize him fully for the good of New York cricket,” declared the manager.