Heriot’s player/coach Pete Ross has hailed the attitude Mark Watt has shown to force his way into the Scotland reckoning – and he believes the teenager’s rise is spurring on other Goldenacre youngsters.
With Heriot’s preparing to take on Capital rivals RH Corstorphine in the CSL Eastern Premiership tomorrow afternoon, Ross was delighted to see spinning all-rounder Watt’s name in the 15-man international squad this week for upcoming T20 matches.
Watt, 18, has been one of the club’s best performers in an up and down summer and he will now be with Scotland for three warm-up matches in Ireland next week and then the World T20 qualifiers in Edinburgh and Stirling next month.
“Mark is a guy who works very hard at his game and whenever he comes to the next training session he wants to get better and that is the sign of a good player,” said Ross. “All at Heriot’s are delighted to see him progressing with Scotland, and for the club generally it has shown the other young guys around what can be achieved.
“Mark and [wicket-keeper/batsman] Charlie MacLeod are young players that the others coming through look up to and, hopefully, will learn from and join them in the first XI – and beyond.”
However, as much as Ross, just 22 himself, is keen to see new players progressing, right now he is pretty happy to have two more experienced campaigners back in the Heriot’s ranks. All-rounders Sean Weeraratna and Kevin McLaren – the latter recovered from a knee injury – are due to be back in the team for the home match tomorrow.
And given the patchy form of Heriot’s, their returns are timely. Batsman Ross said: “Sean and Kevin have both served Heriot’s very well over the years and having them back on the pitch will help us.
“At times this season we have played some good cricket, but we have struggled to put together a complete performance and it has been frustrating for us all. As a coach though what has pleased me is the guys’ work ethic at training and we are all working hard as a group to move up the table [from seventh].”
Ross, who hit 57 against Mazars Grange in mid-May, learnted his trade at Kinross and is now in his fourth season at Heriot’s. After graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University last year he set up his own coaching company and as well as working with the senior ranks at Heriot’s is also involved with various age-grade squads around the country.
RH Corstorphine are still winless in the league, but put in an improved showing last week at Aberdeenshire with three players scoring 50s.
Elsewhere tomorrow leaders Grange, Carlton and Watsonians are all on the road. Grange face last year’s champions Aberdeenshire, Carlton are at Falkland and Watsonians make their second trip to Stoneywood-Dyce in a week after a loss there in the Scottish Cup.
Carlton II have won six matches in a row to sit second in the Bailie Gifford ESCA Championship. Tomorrow they host Stuart&Stuart Penicuik with the SMRH-Mazars Grange II clash looking tasty.
Edinburgh Accies make the trip to Watsonians II for a derby in East One.