He's one of the best and brightest cricketing talents around the region but now Tom Coady faces his biggest test yet after being named in the ACT/NSW Country under 19s side.
Coady, along with Orange's Harry McGregor, was named in the ACT/NSW Country side for the Australian Under 19 National Championships, which will be played in Mackay and begins on Thursday.
The CYMS wicket-keeper is no stranger to representative tournaments after playing under 15s and 17s, both for ACT/NSW Country, but he knows this a bigger task.
"I'm real keen, keen to play some cricket," he said.
"We've got a very good team this year so I think we will put up a decent fight."
Playing for Dubbo in last month's Western Zone Premier League final against Bathurst, Coady dislocated his shoulder while fielding a ball, an injury which forced him out of the CYMS Cougars' triumph over RSL Colts in the RSL Whitney Cup final.
After hitting a superb hundred last week against a Queensland under 23s side in his return from injury, Coady said he hopes he can do both of his roles to the best of his abilities in Mackay.
"I'm still aiming to keep but I'm not sure if my shoulder will be good enough yet," he said.
"The aim is to be keeping down there."
ACT/NSW Country will play against Tasmania in their first game of the tournament while also being the same pool as Northern Territory, Victoria Country, South Australia and the NSW under 17s side, the latter featuring Bathurst youngster Angus Parsons.
Coady is confident his side can advance from the pool stage but knows they will could face a tough match-up in the finals against either heavyweight of the competition.
"In the semi-finals we will probably play Queensland or New South Wales," he said.
"They are probably our two biggest threats."
It's a great challenge but also a bit of a privilege as well- Tom Coady
While Coady is familiar with several of the players in the side, he insists the lack of knowledge about his other teammates is not a worry with the group being a tight unit.
"It's good to have some familiar faces around," he said.
"It helps out with a bit of team bonding but overall I think we are a pretty tight group as well, we all sort of know each other."
At the under 19 level, Coady may very well likely play against cricketers who have rookie state contracts and are already in their states men's system.
The wicket-keeper knows just how good some of the players are who he will encounter in Mackay.
"It's a great challenge but also a bit of a privilege as well," he said.
"Knowing some of those blokes and how good they are, hopefully I'll be able to learn a bit from them."
When asked what he hopes to get out of the tournament, Coady had a pretty simple answer.
"I'd like to win it with the boys but also gain some experience and knowledge before I can give it another crack next year," he said.
ACT/NSW Country's first game against Tasmania begins on Thursday at 9:30am.
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