MOAMA all-rounder Layton McCann’s return to his home club could hardly have started better.
His sensational form with bat and ball has been recognised with a spot in the Victorian Country squad that will contest the Australian Country Cricket Championships in January.
The 20-year-old star said he’d been surprised with a phone call asking him to trial for the squad.
‘‘I got a phone call last Thursday where they asked me to go down to Bendigo and play a trial game at QEO (Queen Elizabeth Oval),’’ he said.
‘‘From there I went down there on Sunday and had a game with the final 28 players and that’s how I got picked.’’
He made an unbeaten half-century in the game, also picking up a wicket to cement his place in the squad.
McCann has made 463 runs at an average of 93, already with three centuries as his Moama side continues to produce quality form to start the season.
He’s also picked up 10 wickets at a handy clip of 9.2.
‘‘I’ve been pretty lucky at the start of a few innings, but it’s been all right,’’ the humble McCann said.
‘‘It’s been real good for the team. We’ve only lost one game to the Duckworth-Lewis (revised scoring method).
‘‘Hopefully we can knock a few more teams off and play some finals.’’
The Moama local lives right near his local club, and said he’d relished the first half of the season playing at home. He had spent the last five seasons playing with Central Park/St Brendan’s in the Haisman Shield.
‘‘It’s only a couple of minutes’ drive. That’s what was killing me last year, the hour drive each way,’’ he said.
‘‘(Junior cricket at Moama) wasn’t too bad. We always had two junior teams all the way through and it was quite competitive,’’ he said.
‘‘There were some great players here and there always will be.’’
His Victorian Country accolade joins his list of representative honours, having played with the Northern Rivers squad from under 14s to 18s, and being named in the under 19 Country squad before missing the final cut.
He also played overseas in 2016, for Hellingly in England. ‘‘The team didn’t go too well but it was a great experience,’’ McCann said.
The Vic Country squad will head to Western Australia for the carnival, held in Geraldton from January 3 to 14. It will play 10 games in total — five one-dayers and five Twenty20s — in the fast-paced carnival.
And heading into his side’s biggest game of the season so far, a top of the table two-dayer against Rochester United, McCann was optimistic Moama could get a good result.
‘‘(United) is a good team. We’ve got a few out this weekend but hopefully we’re shaping up well enough to get over the line,’’ he said.
His coach at Moama Adam Luckman couldn’t have been happier for his star player’s recognition.
‘‘He is so good to watch, and to work with,’’ he said.
‘‘But more than anything he’s a fantastic bloke as well. He doesn’t walk around like he’s too good for anyone.
‘‘Everything he’s working for is paying off and he deserves all the credit he is getting.’’