Redback rookies eager to hit the ground running

All three described the phone call they received from SACA General Manager of High Performance Tim Nielsen as “surreal” and “unexpected,” but above all incredibly exciting.

“I got a call from Vin [Tim Nielsen] while I was at work, I rang him straight back and he let me know I had a contract,” said Dalton, a top-order batsman for Kensington.

“It was a bit of a shock as I really wasn’t expecting it. I rang my dad straight away and he was pretty pumped.”

Joining in Dalton’s excitement is promising pace duo Agar (19) and Grant (18), who will have to wait a little bit longer to dive into the Redbacks pre-season program.

The pair are off to the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane as part of Cricket Australia’s inaugural PRO camp, aimed at fast-tracking some of the country’s most promising junior talent.

Both members of the Australian Under 19 squad that travelled to Dubai in January, Agar in particular has attracted plenty of attention thanks to his express pace and strong cricketing pedigree.

Having moved to Adelaide a little over 12 months ago to join Adelaide University, the brother of Ashton Agar said he was mindful of the amount of help he’d received since re-locating to SA.

“For me it was really a feeing of collective relief, because I’ve had so many people help me on this little journey already,” he said.

“My host family, Peter and Emma, my girlfriend’s family at the time, it was just a massive feeling of relief and excitement from everyone that it had all been worth it.”

Image Id: ~/media/96C981F6426A4039801B10A711E95D87Wes Agar in action at the Under 19 National Championships in Adelaide // Sweep Photography

However the newest additions to the Redbacks’ training squad are well aware of the hard yards ahead of them as they prepare to transition into a professional environment.

In particular, the reputation of SACA fitness boss Stephen Schwerdt has the young guns trembling in equal parts fear and anticipation as to what his pre-season regime will mean for their individual development.   

“Pretty daunting and exciting really, it’ll be my first proper pre-season in an environment like this so I’m looking forward to seeing what it will do for my game,” said Grant.

“Schwerdty is certainly a hard taskmaster, but I’m sure all the running and weights he’ll have us doing will hold us in good stead come the season.” 

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