Bulahdelah fast bowler Tom Allen has been selected in the Country NSW squad.
He will make his Bush Blues debut at the Australian Country Championships to be held in Wollongong in January.
In the lead up to selection, Tom’s impressive form was on show at the recent NSW Country Championships held in Narrabri where he claimed five wickets from 14 overs.
“Being selected is a great honour and I didn’t see myself getting as far as I have,” Tom said.
“I probably wouldn’t be where I am now without the people around me, including my coach and family.”
Tom began his cricket career as a junior in Forster before moving through the ranks of North Coast teams.
He currently plays for Wests in New Lambton.
The 20-year-old said his father Bradley introduced him to the sport.
“Dad had a ball in my hands from the time I could walk, he takes a lot of credit for my bowling even though he is a keeper,” Tom said.
“My older brother Zac has also been a huge help with practice, he’s copped a few balls to the chest over the years, but he said it’s all been worth it.”
Tom told News Of The Area he has been inspired by Australian fast bowler Josh Hazelwood who made his Test match debut at 23-years of age.
“He played his cricket through the same ranks that I have and he shows that a country boy can make it in the big time,” Tom said.
“Playing in a national team is a massive step from where I am now, but one can dream and anything is possible.”
Tom is currently juggling commuting to Newcastle for work each day with coaching, training sessions and matches with his teammates.
“They call themselves country down there but I think I’m the biggest country bumpkin in the team,” he said.
Tom is one of only two under-23 players selected for the 14-person Country NSW squad.
By Daniel SAHYOUN