Field of dreams for cricketers
GETTING coached by a former Australian cricket team captain and renowned wicket-keeper is a dream come true for a squad of young players.
On Wednesday evening, players from the Alstonville & District Junior Cricket Club participated in a special skills session with Jodie Fields, who captained the Australian Cricket Women's Team for five years and as a wicketkeeper, played more than 100 games for Australia.
According to coach Peter O'Toole, the club is "extremely fortunate” to have Fields who led her team through two tournament victories at the 2013 World Cup and 2012 World T20, 2013, share her expertise.
As Fields ran the juniors through some drills, O'Toole emphasised the positive impact the 34-year-old has had with her one-one-one coaching.
"Cricket is a very technical game,” O'Toole said.
"Jodie is a great resource with her ability and talent, so to have her come down and help with batting and and wicket-keeping technique can make a huge difference when they play.
"She has really helped one of our wicket-keepers dramatically improve.”
Fields retired in 2014 with some wicketkeeping statistics, having claimed 11 Test dismissals, 76 dismissals (57 catches, 19 stumpings) in One Day Internationals and 40 dismissals (25 catches and 15 stumpings) in T20s.
"It's great to be here at Alstonville,” she said.
"I love being able to help players get the most out of their game”.
Wicketkeeper Danny O'Toole said he was thrilled to be coached by such a fantastic player.
"It's been really good to have Jodie's coaching, I've learned a lot,” he said.
Club president Michael Barnes said everyone was really grateful to Fields for being such a great role model.
"The ability to have someone local with her experience is great, especially for our young female cricketers,” he said.
Club secretary Luke Davis said Fields was giving the players a fresh perspective.
"Jodie is giving them new drills, mixing it up,” he said.
"As a club we want them to love the playing and keep the enjoyment going.”