AS the Australian Under-19’s were competing in the Under-19 World Cup, 18-year-old Ed Newman was preparing for a stint for the Victorian Futures League side. Most would claim the Mentone Grammar premiership captain was on the wrong side of the Tasman.

Newman’s grit and determination, however, could mean quite the contrary.

Indeed, the boy from Black Rock was quick to put aside the disappointment of national omission to instead focus on the opportunity of gaining 4-day match experience. Making his Futures League debut, under the captaincy of Victorian opener Travis Dean, Newman made a patient first-innings half-century, followed by a quickfire second-innings 34.

“Obviously it was disappointing at the time to miss out [on the Under-19 World Cup], Newman admitted.

“But I’ve used it as motivation to work even harder and become the best cricketer I can, and to some extent, I think I’ll be better in the long run for missing out,” he said.

Inspired by his love for the game, Newman’s eventful season, which has delivered a Victorian Premier League one-day premiership under Dandenong, seems poised to see more success.

“We are currently first on the ladder [in the two-day format] so hopefully there is some more success waiting for us at the end of the season,” Newman said.

Interestingly, the professional sporting tale of the Dandenong batsman may have taken a very different path. While Newman was well-renowned for baseball talent growing up, it was the lure of the AFL which meant a difficult decision.

“At the end of the day it was about choosing which sport I loved more, and that was cricket. I loved both sports growing up and choosing between them was a really hard decision to face, Newman explained.

“I have no regrets on my decision and hopefully I can make it count in the long run”.

Newman pointed to Australian cricketing legend and fellow left-hander Mike Hussey as inspiration.

“He was a left hand top order batsman who had to work really hard to achieve what he did in his career,” admired the Beaumaris Cricket Club product.

Newman’s immediate future appears a busy one, with a challenging juggle between studying and chasing a cricketing dream awaiting.

“I’m going to study Sports Management at Deakin University this year and I’m excited to start the course. I’m also hoping to go over to England next year and play a season of cricket during our winter,” he explained.

By Owen Leonard

Twitter: @OwenLeonard14

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