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SA Scorpions look to the future after stars depart

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A PAIR of teenage Kensington teammates have earned SA Scorpions contracts for the 2018-2019 season as the side looks to the future to the fill the void left by the departure of some of its experienced stars.

Kelly Armstrong, 19, and Shae Daly, 18, come into 16-player squad following the departures of Sophie Devine who will head back to New Zealand and Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner who will return home to Sydney and rejoin the NSW Breakers.

Scorpions assistant coach Shelley Nitschke said Armstrong, a leg-spinner and middle-order batter, had spent the past 12 months training with the senior squad after showing strong potential in the state’s underage teams.

“Kel’s wrong’un is very good — she’s an accurate and consistent bowler and has good variations,” Nitschke said.

“She has really shown her commitment to the squad already and has trained very well with the group.”

Daly, an off-spinner and middle to lower order batter, has also come through the state underage ranks, most recently playing for South Australia in the Under 18 National Championships in Canberra.

“She has been involved in Cricket Australia talent camps in the past, as well as the State underage championships,” Nitschke said.

“She gets good revs and good drop when she bowls.”

SA had 14 state contracts to allocate, 12 of which were retained by last year’s squad with Brittany Perry the only omission. Megan Schutt and Amanda-Jade Wellington have been awarded national contracts for the upcoming season.

Head coach Andrea McCauley said she excited to see what the young Scorpions squad could produce.

“We’re developing some gifted young cricketers through our pathway programs and this gives us an opportunity to reward their effort and shows the depth in our talent pool,” McCauley said.

“While it’s disappointing to lose a few experienced players and we wish them well, it provides a great opportunity for others to step up and show what they can do.

“This group is hungry for success. We’ll look to continue our improvement and build on the foundations from last season.”

Scorpions pre-season training will commence on Monday, 4 June.

Kelly Armstrong, Samantha Betts, Shae Daly, Eliza Doddridge, Ellie Falconer, Brooke Harris, Sarah Lowe, Tahlia McGrath, Tegan McPharlin, Annie O’Neil, Bridget Patterson, Katelyn Pope, Alex Price, Tabatha Saville, Megan Schutt (CA contract), Amanda-Jade Wellington (CA contract).

Head coach: Andrea McCauley. Assistants: Shelley Nitschke, Luke Williams

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