WHEN I first started playing for Lavington, we had a massive rivalry with North Albury.
They were our arch enemy.
Being a kid and how I played, Rod Barton and Dave Castello used to give me plenty when I batted so when they asked me about playing representative cricket I was a bit hesitant.
Why would I want to play with these blokes?
For some reason I took them up on the offer though and it’s turned out to be one of the best things I have done.
They were great to me and that’s the beauty of rep cricket. You don’t really know blokes until you have played with them.
Heath Naughton is another classic example.
I got to know him really well playing for CAW and he was the main reason I went to St Patrick’s last year.
Early on at club level I used to continuously play and miss his out-swingers and he would just walk down the pitch, wipe the sweat off his brow and look at me and mutter “it’s red, hard and shiny, try and hit it”.
I have handed out my share as well at club level.
One day we played Liam Scammell when he was at East Albury and he batted all day for 90.
I think I sledged him every ball he faced starting with the money his dad had spent on cricket gear, from pads, bats, gloves, helmets, cricket lessons, trips away and so on.
Then Liam and I were picked in the under-23 rep side.
I was the coach at the time and it was a bit awkward at the start, but by the end of the rep season we were great friends and the relationship we built saw him cross over to Lavington a few years ago.
We are great mates now and I guess that’s the thing I like best about rep cricket.
Why wouldn’t you want to play?