FORMER Australian Test player Robert Holland will be among the guest cricket coaches at a pre-season clinic for junior players starting this month.
The Toronto Academy of Cricket Excellence will be held over eight Sunday mornings, at Ron Hill Oval.
It will cater for up to 60 players aged from 11 to 16.
The academy will be hosted by Cricket Southern Lakes - the name to be adopted by the soon-to-be merged administrations of Toronto Workers District Cricket Club (seniors) and Southern Lakes Junior Cricket Club.
Cricket Southern Lakes president Aaron Grey said the academy was open to all junior players in the region, and not just Southern Lakes players.
"The academy is all about participation and fostering cricket," he said.
"Our director of coaching Mike Mackenzie, a Level 2 coach, will oversee the whole operation and ensure that each participant is achieving the goals set out."
Among the coaches taking part will be local first grade batsman Josiah McCredie and all-rounder Jonty Durrheim - both off whom are Level 1 coaches.
And former NSW and Australian leg-spinner and now president of the junior club, Robert Holland, will help to run a spinners' clinic at the academy.
Mr Grey said the young participants would receive intensive tuition in the primary skills of batting, bowling and fielding. But it was also about boosting each child's understanding of the game.
"The academy has been structured so that there will also be modules on umpiring, scoring, the rules of cricket, coaching, goal setting and the mental approach to the game," he said.
"This structure will make it one of the leading cricket development programs in regional NSW and the benchmark for Newcastle and the surrounding districts."
The cost to participate in the academy is $160, or $80 for new or existing Southern Lakes juniors.
The academy will run from 10am to noon over eight consecutive Sundays, starting on July 29.
Mr Holland said the academy would be a great thing for local cricket.
"It gives young blokes an opportunity to get some good, specialist coaching which hopefully will help them to one day play grade cricket," he said.
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Mike Mackenzie on 0421 451467.