South Canterbury’s latest cricket recruit Matt Woods is hoping for an all-round experience in more ways than one this summer.
The Englishman will open the bowling for Temuka in the South Canterbury senior competition, and all going well, he is likely to spearhead the province’s attack during the 2012/2013 Hawke Cup campaign.
The 21-year-old, who naturally swings the ball away from a right-handed batsman. said he was eager to learn with both bat and ball and contribute to the success of Temuka and South Canterbury during his six-month stay.
“I’ve thought about coming over (to New Zealand) for a while but haven’t had the confidence to do it.”
Woods, who plays for Great Tew and Oxfordshire in England, said his Great Tew captain was meant to come to South Canterbury this season, but when he broke his shoulder late in the English season, Woods spoke to former South Canterbury player Andrew Buckingham and made his way to Timaru.
“I can bowl, I can hold a bat. I feel like I could get a quick 30 if needed and I’m a pretty good fielder. I want to become a stronger, more confident cricketer while I’m here and try to improve my batting.
“I want to go back home as an allrounder and learn from the senior players here, because I’m only 21.”
While Woods was keen to be mentored he was also excited at the prospect of mentoring 18-year-old Temuka pace bowler Nathan McNicol, who is making an impression with the Canterbury Under-20 team.
Woods said he was looking forward to forming a strong partnership with the teenager for Temuka.
“I swing the ball away, he swings the ball in.
“He’s left-arm, I’m right arm, so we could be pretty good combination.
“He is a really good bowler, I watched in the Under-20 Academy game and he was virtually unplayable.
“If I can bring him through and teach him some things, then that would be good because I’ve been where he is now.”
Woods will also hold coaching sessions in South Canterbury schools in combination with South Canterbury Cricket’s development officer Shane Gilkison.