HE made the move from Brisbane to Canberra in a bid to further his cricket career and Queanbeyan off spinner Josh Connolly hasn’t been forced to wait long for the decision to pay dividends.
On Wednesday, the 20-year-old was selected to make his ACT Comets debut little more than a month after linking with the representative side.
Connolly was one of three current Queanbeyan players named in the Comets line-up alongside batsmen Jono Dean and Aaron Ayre. Former Bluebags Dean Solway, Michael Spaseski and Blake Dean have also been included in the ACT team to take on NSW in a four-day match at Manuka Oval next week.
Formerly a top 10 nationally ranked junior tennis star, Connolly only took up cricket three years ago but has since shown remarkable aptitude and ambition in his relatively new sport of choice.
“I made the move to play for the Comets, I’m not going to lie there so it was really exciting to get my name called out and I’m really looking forward to getting into it next week,” Connolly said.
“It probably makes the move [to Canberra] that little bit more worthwhile so it’ll be good to hopefully top it off with a few wickets.”
Connolly said the greater opportunity to forge a professional career in cricket as opposed to tennis was the primary motivation for the switch.
And the Brisbane product need not look far for inspiration when it comes to following through on his passion after the success in recent years of fellow off spinner Nathan Lyon.
In the space of just three years starting with his Comets debut in 2008, Lyon went from the relative obscurity of the Canberra Grade competition to representing Australia on the international stage.
“I take a lot of similarities between me and Nathan,” he said. “The shot spans of our cricket careers and neither of us being part of those junior teams, his pathway is something I…aspire to.
“At the moment there’s a lot of opportunities for spin bowlers in Australia and I feel like over the next couple of years, if I can perform well for the Comets and Queanbeyan I can start pushing my claims.
“I’d like to grab an opportunity similar to the way [Nathan] has in coming years and hopefully I can go on the bigger and better things.”
Cricket Australia Futures League, round one
Who: ACT Comets v NSW
Where: Manuka Oval
When: Mon, Oct 29 – Nov 1. Play from 10.30am.