Incoming Western Zone coach Andrew Zell might not be able to watch matches in person, but he is eager to see what happens in the massive representative round this weekend.
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This weekend's Western Zone Premier League (WZPL) double-header round will be representative hopefuls' last opportunity to impress Zell and the selectors before a squad is selected for the upcoming NSW Country Championships at Orange.
A former South Dubbo Hornet, Zell has been behind the scenes with Western Zone before but knows taking on a coaching role is a whole different challenge.
"I was sort of around the team last year in a bit of a co-manager role," he said.
"They got in touch with me this year after a few guys weren't available because I didn't want to step on anyone's toes.
"I ended up with the coach's role, I'll be keeping up to date with all the results and seeing what we can do at the carnival."
While he won't be there in person, Zell admitted he will be a close eye on this weekend's results when all four sides are in action.
"The selector's side of things I will be leaving up to them," he said.
"I'm based in Sydney so I'm pretty reliant on the feedback coming back from those guys.
"I'm sure they are all across it and will do a good job."
Western hasn't taken out the Country Championships since 2016/17 and their new coach is confident the side can make some noise at this year's competition.
"Looking at last year, I knew a few of the guys but hadn't seen them in a fair while as well," he said.
"There isn't much I can do in telling them how to bat or bowl, it's more about getting in their head because it is the next step in level.
"With that comes a step up in quality as well, it's probably just getting them to switch on a bit differently from how they would in a club game or a local game.
"Really what stood out last year across the three games was we lost the opening match around four key moments. Just little things that turned into big things, they are what you have to be switched on for I suppose at that next level."
Players like Marty Jeffrey, Ryan Peacock and Nic Broes have been in or around the Western squad for quite a few seasons now but there is a sense the team is about to get a lot younger.
Up-and-coming stars like Bathurst's Cooper Brien were impressive in round one of the WZPL and Zell said there are a few players already on his radar.
"I know Marty Jeffrey and a few of the guys who have been around for a while," he said.
"It's a shame because I was talking to Jameel Qureshi who skippered it last year and he is just too busy with family to be involved.
"Guys like Marty and Matty Everett who are good players. Ryan Peacock was there last year as was Ben Wheeler if he goes around again.
"Nic Broes as I understand it is coming back from Canberra, it's really up to those senior guys who have been around a while to really lead from the front.
"I know it's a cliche but they have to set the framework for any new guys and those around them to just structure how they go about things in all the disciplines."
The Western Zone squad will be announced next week following the weekend's matches.
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