WAITING ROOM: Bird keen to extract runs for Harwood
PREMIER LEAGUE: The last time he took centre stump guard, Harwood recruit Harry Bird was surrounded by fellow rising cricketers Matt Renshaw and Billy Stanlake.
Playing in the Brisbane Greater Public Schools' First XI competition for St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace, Bird led the way as a lethal left-handed opener for two seasons.
But when he left for the Gold Coast to study dentistry at university, cricket suddenly took a back seat.
"I used to live and breathe cricket as a kid, but during those five years it was never something I really thought about,” Bird said.
"I would do a lot of late nights on pracs and the club I was going to play for was just too far away. Cricket just wasn't a priority.”
But when Bird landed in the Clarence Valley at the start of the year to begin work at Maclean Dental Care, his love of cricket returned in an instant.
With a new season on the horizon, he was guided to the home of cricket among the canefields at Harwood.
"It has been a great opportunity, just hitting the ball and being around blokes speaking that familiar language has been great,” he said.
"When I first went back into the nets and faced that first delivery all I could think was 'why did I give this game up'.”
Harwood has welcomed the former Queensland representative with open arms and are hoping his addition to the squad will strengthen their top order ahead of the inaugural North Coast Premier League season.
"It has been great being in the club, they are all really funny blokes and really outgoing,” he said. "I think they all enjoy a bit of a chirp as well, which I love to hear on the field.
"I probably won't be as loud to start with, but I am sure it won't take me long.”
Harwood were expected to start their Premier League tilt against 2017/18 Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association premiers Sawtell this weekend at Harwood but action has been called off due to the wet.
"It's a shame, but I am just keen for a good weekend to get started,” he said.