There's a youthful look to the squad which includes no fewer than 14 former Ireland Under 19 internationals, including Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy Player of the Year Jack Tector. Also making their first appearance in the EPP line-up are Gary McClintock, Bobby Gamble and Robert McKinley.
Leinster all-rounder Joe Carroll is also included for the first time in the 19 man squad thanks to his strong performances in domestic cricket in 2015.
Cricket Ireland have revamped the EPP format, which will now operate on a centralised rather than regional basis with a new team of specialist coaches.
Ireland assistant coach Pete Johnston will head up the programme, with Ian McGregor appointed as Lead Coach. Eugene Moleon is the fast bowling coach, while former internationals Albert van der Merwe (spin bowling), Nigel Jones (ODI/batting against pace) and Andrew White (multi-day and batting against spin) add their considerable experience to the coaching resources. Brendan Connor (Strength and Conditioning) and Scott Irvine (Performance Analyst) complete the eight man coaching line-up.
“The selectors have chosen this squad in line with succession planning - identifying players for potential future roles across all formats at senior level," said Peter Johnston. "It gives them the opportunity to train in a focused role specific environment, with an emphasis on development and tactical awareness. We are running a programme of skill sets in batting, bowling and around multi-day and limited overs cricket.
“We believe that this training programme and its support network will give every player the best opportunity to develop their skills and application. Everything they will do across these sessions is based upon what is required to be a leading Irish cricketer competing on the world stage.”
Johnston is looking forward to working with his coaching team who he feels will not only develop the players but also themselves.
“The EPP Programme will also allow us to strengthen from within and increase the stock of elite/specialist coaches in Ireland. We have involved a number of coaches who have a huge amount of experience in the game and are giving them the responsibility of guiding the emerging players.”
Cricket Ireland are currently in the process of scheduling the Ireland A fixture list for 2016, which in addition to matches during the season will hopefully include a three week tour after the Irish season.
2015/2016 EPP SQUAD:
Mark Adair (Warwickshire/Northern Knights), Ross Allen (Eglinton/NW Warriors), Yaqoob Ali (YMCA/Leinster Lightning), John Anderson (Merrion/Leinster Lightning), James Cameron-Dow (CIYMS/Northern Knights), Joe Carroll (Leinster/Leinster Lightning), Rishi Chopra (Coleraine/NW Warriors), Bobby Gamble (YMCA), Tyrone Kane (Merrion/Leinster Lightning), Fintan McAllister (Malahide/Leinster Lightning), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke/Leinster Lightning)*, Gary McClintock (Donemana/NW Warriors), James McCollum (Waringstown/Northern Knights), Robert McKinley (Cambridge MCCU/Northern Knights), David Rankin (Bready/NW Warriors), Eddie Richardson (North County/Leinster Lightning), Simranjit Singh (YMCA/Leinster Lightning), Jack Tector (YMCA/Leinster Lightning), Greg Thompson (Waringstown /Northern Knights), Chris Dougherty
*James Cameron-Dow & Barry McCarthy named in the squad but currently playing overseas