|The Western Australian Cricket Association has named a 17-man Warriors squad and five rookies for the 2012-13 interstate season.
Tasmanian wicket-keeper Tom Triffitt and Victorian left-arm spinner Ashton Agar have been recruited from interstate, while batsman Tom Beaton and quicks Jason Behrendorff and Matt Dixon have been upgraded to a full contract from the rookie deals they held in 2011-12.
There are four new faces among the Warriors' rookie contracted players. Wicket-keepers Cameron Bancroft (Willetton) and Sam Whiteman (Rockingham-Mandurah) join Fremantle all-rounder Ashton Turner and Claremont-Nedlands batsman Will Bosisto.
Departures from the 2011-12 Warriors squad and rookie list are the retired Mark Cameron and Brad Knowles, along with Martin Paskal, Luke Pomersbach, Wes Robinson, Luke Ronchi and Michael Johnson.
Agar (pictured) is one of the country's most promising spin bowlers and was named yesterday in Australia's squad for next month's ICC Under 19 World Cup in Queensland, where he will be joined by Bancroft, Paris, Turner and Bosisto.
Warriors Head Coach Lachlan Stevens said: "We've aimed to assemble a strong group of core youngsters, with five current Australian Under 19 players combined with graduates from the 2010 World Cup group in Mitch Marsh, Tom Beaton and Tom Triffitt, as well as Tim Armstrong, who is in our newly-created Development Squad.
"Ashton Agar has been recruited with a view to increasing our spin bowling options and he will team up with Michael Beer. All-rounder Ashton Turner is also a promising spin option and the competition for spots between that trio will be similar to what is being created with our three wicket-keepers, and that's what we are after.
"Essentially we are hoping our senior players can create a new legacy for the Warriors brand by being competitive with the best sides in Australia and showing leadership with their on and off field responsibilities.”
Meanwhile a 10-man Development Squad has also been released, which is a new initiative designed to provide talented players sitting just outside the Warriors contract list with an opportunity to be part of the WACA's elite program.
The squad will be led by recently-appointed WACA Development Coach Geoff Marsh, and includes former Warriors squad members Jake Fawcett, Drew Porter and Luke Towers, University's Cricket Superstar runner-up David Vernon, and ex-ACT and Tasmanian batsman John Rogers.
WACA Cricket Manager Ben Oliver said: "The Development Squad will work closely with the Warriors' playing group and coaching staff throughout the season, and we would be expecting some of those players to step up and grab the chance at interstate level should an opportunity be presented.
"The aim of the squad is to help players transition from WACA District Cricket to senior interstate competition. We are very fortunate to have Geoff Marsh leading the group with his international playing and coaching experience and detailed understanding of Western Australian cricket.”
WARRIORS 2012-13 SQUAD
Ashton Agar, Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Travis Birt, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Davis, Matthew Dixon, Ryan Duffield, Marcus Harris, Michael Hogan, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North, Nathan Rimmington, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges.
Cameron Bancroft, William Bosisto, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman.
Cricket Australia Contracts:
Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson.
WACA DEVELOPMENT SQUAD
Tim Armstrong, Stephen Ball, Hilton Cartwright, Ryan Done, Jake Fawcett, Simon Mackin, Drew Porter, John Rogers, Luke Towers, David Vernon.