AFTER more than a year’s worth of hard work and trips back and forth to Canberra, Batemans Bay teenager Matt Condon was this week named in the ACT under 17s cricket team that will compete at next month’s national championships.
Condon, a talented wicket keeper-batsman, was named in the prestigious squad after a string of fine performances for Western Districts in the Canberra first grade competition.
But despite his brilliant recent form in the ACT, Condon insisted his state team selection came as a surprise.
“I was stoked, but I didn’t really think I would get there in the end,” he said on Wednesday.
“I’m really keen for the national championships. I’ve never been away for so long playing cricket at that level.”
The 16-year-old Bay High student said he wasn’t nervous at the thought of facing the best young players from around Australia, but he conceded that there would be more pressure to perform.
“I never really get nervous,” he said.
“Not much is expected of you when you open the batting, it’s all on the bowlers and it’s about seeing what they’ve got.
“But it will be an eye opener. I’ve never played against people at that level and there will be a lot more pressure on me to score runs.”
ACT Cricket’s under 17s head coach Kyle Piper was heavily involved in Condon’s selection and he praised the Batemans Bay boy for showing such commitment to the sport.
“Matt has been travelling up to Canberra for 12 months playing for Western Districts in our grade competition so he’s obviously got a great deal of commitment,” Piper said.
“During that time, he’s managed to work his way up through the grades and then in all of our trial matches this season, he’s scored plenty of runs and he’s doing a good job behind the stumps.
“So he’s earned his way in just through sheer numbers and performances and that’s really pleasing for him and his family.”
When asked about the massive amounts of travel involved every week, Condon said it hardly fazed him but that it “didn’t leave much time for homework”.
However, December’s national championships in Hobart weren’t Condon’s immediate concern as this weekend he and the rest of the Bay High team will travel to the University of Wollongong Oval to face Karabar High School in the final of the Davison Shield.
“Always confident, but you never know with school cricket,” Condon said.
Condon was also quick to acknowledge the efforts of Tom Purcell, who has been coaching him every week.
“He’s the main reason why I got into the ACT team,” Condon said.