Nick makes big step up
DESPITE being only 16 years old, Marist Brothers all-rounder Nick De Giusti has been selected to play in the NSW Country Under-21 team in Sydney next week.
However, De Giusti isn't fazed by the fact that he will be the youngest player in the team.
"It doesn't really worry me. I've been in heaps of teams where I've been the youngest," he said.
"I just want to make a good impression and get my name out there."
The team will be playing three Twenty20 games and a 50-over match against the Sydney Colts team, with the first Twenty20 set down for Tuesday at Blacktown.
"They will be hard to beat. A few of them have played for New South Wales before," De Giusti said.
"I wasn't expecting to get picked, so I plan on making the most of the opportunity.
"Hopefully it can be a stepping stone for me to make the New South Wales team."
The surprise selection comes off the back of a disrupted summer of cricket for De Giusti.
He tore ligaments in his ankle during a volleyball game at high school last year.
"Its not too bad and it's getting back to 100%," he said.
"It plays up a bit but you learn to deal with it."
De Giusti racked up a half-century in his first game back from injury in a two-day LJ Hooker League match against Terranora Lakes last November.
The heavy-hitting all-rounder eventually found his way back into the North Coast Under-21 team and notched another half-century against Riverina at the NSW Country Carnival in Wollongong last month.
North Coast coach Paul Everingham expects big things from the talented 16-year-old.
"Nick has been an up and coming player for about three years now," Everingham said.
"He's a big strong kid that plays his shots and has a good head on his shoulders.
"I think he is only just starting to scratch the surface of his ability and this will be good experience for him," he said.
"Sydney Colts will be a strong opposition but he'll show them he's up for it."
De Giusti will have plenty of time to practise, because he is currently looking for work, after deciding not to return to school this year.
He is also weighing up his options on whether he will make the move to Sydney or interstate play at a higher level.
"It would be nice to play professionally but we'll see what happens," he said.
"Hopefully that side of things will take care of itself."