WHEN it comes to the cricket pitch, Queanbeyan’s Dean Solway has always followed in the footsteps of his father Peter. After all, when your dad is accounted as one of the finest players the Canberra competition has ever produced, it’s only to be expected comparisons are going to be made.
But starting this weekend, Dean will strike out on his own path in the cricketing world when he packs his bags for Adelaide as he continues his quest to secure a state contract.
The 19-year-old will head to South Australia after being offered a spot in the Redbacks Academy program for 2012/13 where he’ll train under former Australian head coach Tim Nielsen.
Despite his undoubted attributes as a prodigious run scorer and classy top-order batsman, Peter Solway never much aspired to trying his luck interstate – instead preferring to ply his trade for Queanbeyan, ANU and the ACT.
Dean however, has made no secret of his desire to pursue his cricketing ambitions to the highest possible level.
“Dad wouldn’t change anything but he probably wonders what would have happened if he’d moved,” Dean says. “So he’s happy to see me go. I’m still only 19 so I don’t really have anything to lose.
“I think Queanbeyan will always be here for me if I want to come back. “It’s a great time in my life to take that step and have a crack at playing professionally but I’ll always have Queanbeyan as my home club to come back to.”
The talented teenager’s opportunity has come after the former Karabar High student enjoyed a breakthrough 2011/12 season with Queanbeyan and the ACT Comets in the Future’s League.
Solway notably hit 166no on his Comets debut at Manuka Oval in October and was included in last year’s PM’s XI and Chairman’s XI sides.
The right-handed batsman was also selected in ACT’s under-19s and under-23s outfits but said the move to South Australia was a necessary step in furthering his opportunities.
“I’ll have to step up a bit more with the Academy program where I’ll probably be doing morning and night sessions on some days so I think I’ll be pretty busy,” he said.
“I’m ready for a bit of a step up in the grade cricket standards as well. I think it’s going to be a bit more of a professional environment. The chance to train with professional cricketers under Tim Nielsen is definitely going to help develop my game.”
While training with the Redbacks Academy, Solway will play for Adelaide club side Prospect.