In the mid 1990s when I was 16, I was part of a Ringwood Cricket Club Dowling Shield squad that had, as its special guest, former Test cricketer Ray Bright addressing and assessing the group. The feeling of awe is something I remember very clearly from that moment; an actual Test cricketer was right there in front of me.
Later that summer, as a result of playing for Richmond in the Dowling Shield carnival, I met then Test bowler Paul Reiffel. Well, I didn’t so much meet him as stand there and stare at him as he presented me with a little token from the club. Of course, my intention at the time was to join their ranks as a Test player, though I obviously had no idea just how far short of that I would fall.
It was also unfathomable to me then that, some seventeen years later when sitting across a table from Ray Bright as a mature adult with a wife and three kids that I would be just as much in awe as I had all those years before.