LOWER Clarence young gun Braden Dinham has just returned from the NSW Country Cricket Coaching Class in Sydney with a new lease of life.
Following in the footsteps of some other heroes of Country Cricket, who have previously attended this long-established program, has fired up the young player's desire to pursue his sport to the limit of his ability.
Since 1951 NSW Cricket has conducted this intensive week of coaching in Sydney to assist young country players who show promise.
Previous attendees include players such as Adam Gilchrist and Doug Walters, who began their careers in the country and have gone on to play cricket at the top level.
The squad of players is selected from all over NSW to play against the Combined Metropolitan Green Shield team, which unfortunately took the honours on the day.
However, Dinham now knows what its like to stay at the hallowed halls of Sancta Sophia College at Sydney University, where the squad has been hosted throughout its history.
"Cricket is a game with many traditions and to make it to this historic week after so many other big names is awesome and a real honour," Dinham said.
The program included sessions in the middle of the Sydney Cricket Ground and the boys also watched the Queensland team preparing for their match against NSW while they were there.
"I've never seen one batsman use so many bats in the nets as Martin Love, who must have gone through 10 different bats in half an hour," Dinham said.
"I am lucky enough to be sponsored by Slazenger, so I'll have to see if I can get nine more bats to put in my kit."
NSW Cricket spends more than $30,000 hosting the squad each year and it is great to see some country players given an opportunity to match it with the best of their city counterparts.
Dinham also gave a wrap to local cricket sponsors including Country Energy, the Pacific Hotel Yamba and Lower Clarence Fishermens Co-op.
"I am really grateful to Country Energy and the others for assisting things like our Emerging Blues program and local cricket," he said.
"This is where it all starts for us guys in regional areas of Australia."