By Sam Watson
OUTTRIM Moyarra Kongwak prodigy, Ethan Lamers has been selected in the Under 17’s Vic Country squad for the Western Summer Series in January.
The series played in Hamilton and Dunkeld will include T20 and 50 over matches between Vic Country, Vic Metro, South Australia and an Under 16’s Cricket Victoria side.
With the national under 17 championships suspended, the tournament allows players like Lamers to get their chance at state level.
Somehow, Lamers wasn’t selected to play for Vic Country’s Under 15’s a couple of years ago, despite being one of the highest run scorers for his age in the state.
But he’s moved on and now he can’t wait for his biggest challenge in his spectacular young career.
“I’m pretty pumped, it’s been something I’ve been chasing for the last four or five years,” Lamers said.
Lamers, who hails from Outtrim, has always been touted as one of the next big cricketers in the region and he’s turned heads as a top order batsman.
The right-hander made his A Grade debut for Outtrim at just 14 and he’s looked right at home since.
At the same age he won the LDCA’s Under 16 cricketer of the year with a batting average of 291.
OMK President, Russ White said it’s fantastic to see a youngster from the region get recognised amongst the state’s best.
White said when Lamers started showing up to senior training at just 12, his mind was only on one thing.
“He was bloody small and all he wanted to do was just bat and bat,” White said.
“You could see from then he was going to be a pretty good batsman.”
The amount of effort the youngster puts into his cricket impressed White, but Lamers is also thankful for the effort OMK’s put into him.
White has paid for Lamers to have training sessions in Frankston and he said the opportunities the club has given him in A Grade has improved his cricket immensely.
The batsman also said the mentors he’s had at OMK have been a massive factor in his budding career, especially A Grade captain Daniel Mock.
Mock was also especially pleased to see someone he’s worked with get his opportunity at state level.
“It’s awesome to see, to produce good cricketers is what the club strives for,” Mock said.
“As A Grade captain I’ve always tried to push the young ones to take the next step, so it’s a good reward.”
Like most, Mock knew pretty early that Lamers had a special cricketing future ahead of him.
“From a young age he showed that he was far better than most in his age group,” Mock said.
“In his A Grade debut at just 14, he didn’t look out of place.”
Lamers took the next step in his career when made the move to Casey-South Melbourne in Victorian Premier Cricket this year.
The 17-year-old has been playing in the thirds and he’s loving the challenge so far.
“Everything about it has been awesome,” Lamers said.
He’s also had travelling companion in Koonwarra’s Ben Perry which has made his experience at Casey-South Melbourne a much more comfortable one.
But like a lot of young cricketers with high expectations placed on them, Lamers said the pressure of making runs can be difficult to deal with.
He’s made a couple of 30’s for Casey-South Melbourne this year but he’s yet to hit his straps.
“There’s been a couple of times where I thought, maybe I’m not good enough yet,” Lamers said.
However, the Outtrim local is still really enjoying his cricket and he believes it’s only a matter of time until he seriously gets amongst the runs.
“I do know that I should be playing down there, the first couple of rounds it was just a couple of nerves.”
Because he’s never played state cricket, Lamers isn’t sure how he will perform come the Western Summer Series, but his fellow clubmen are sure it’ll be a success for him.
“He’s trained with us a few times and he’s been striking the ball very well,” White said.
Mock also shared the same sentiment.
“I think he’ll embrace the challenge and he’ll go really well,” the A Grade skipper said.
“His game’s definitely up to it.”
Some backyard battles might be where Lamers’ honed his craft as a batsman.
His older brother Jacob has become a regular fixture in OMK’s A Grade and his younger brother, Zavier looks set to become one of the league’s best young cricketers.
Lamers’ cricket future looks bright, but he’ll also be spending a bit of time on the golf course now that he has an apprenticeship at the Leongatha Golf Club.
He might make it to the MCG as a curator, but we’d all rather see him out there hitting boundaries at the top of the order.
The Western Summer Series will begin on January 18.