Sam gloves his chance
MURWILLUMBAH'S Sam Reading believes a solid preparation will benefit him when the wicketkeeper/batsman represents NSW at the Australian Under-19 cricket championship in Adelaide from January 7 to 17.
Reading, who plays for Lismore club Marist Brothers in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League, will bat at No 6 or No 7 and wear the gloves for the NSW team.
The former NSW Under-17 representative has just done his Higher School Certificate at Murwillumbah High and now aspires to play first-grade cricket in Sydney or Brisbane.
But before he makes his move north or south, Reading will face some of the nation's best Under-19 cricketers for the second successive season.
Last summer Reading posted 132 runs at an average of 33 against the nation's best emerging bowlers as well as snaring eight catches and two stumpings.
The tidy gloveman considers himself a 'keeper first and a batsman second.
His main priority at the national titles is to not concede a bye, hold all his catches and take all stumping opportunities.
"The big thing is to be ready and prepare well," Reading said. "It's also my job to keep the energy levels up in the field."
The 18-year-old broke his left thumb earlier this season but has recovered and is ready for a big January.
He said coaches Paul Everingham (Lennox Head) and Keith Wyatt (Murwill-umbah) had been guiding influences on his career.
Reading moved to Brothers when Murwillumbah could not field a Hooker League side in 2011-12.
He had made his first-grade debut for Murwillum-bah at just 14.
Marist Brothers captain Luke Collings said Reading's dedication to cricket was obvious and not just through his commitment to travel to Lismore for club training and home games.
"It's great to have a player of his calibre at the club," Collings said.
"Sam is great with some of the younger players at our club and a good fella."
NSW begins its Australian Under-19 championship carnival against Tasmania on January 7 before playing SA the next day, Victoria on January 10-11, WA on January 13-14 and Queensland on January 16-17.
Reading will then represent North Coastal Zone Colts in the NSW Country Under-21 titles at Wollongong from January 26 to 28 (report Page 64).