No holding back for Fellows
SAM Fellows is a confident, well... fellow.
Fellows represented Australia under 15s last year and sees no reason he can’t make the Australia under-19 team next summer.
He is also confident enough to admit his hands were shaking the first time he faced Laidley’s Michael Sippel in a Division One cricket match.
That the Central Districts all-rounder survived to be 23 not out proves he backs his words with actions.
Fellows has also earned wraps this season for his bowling from Laidley batsman Alex Welsh, who has played first-class cricket in England, and Centrals teammate Wayne Jones, who has seen the best in Ipswich come and go over the past decade.
However, Fellows admits it has been a huge challenge taking on the men.
“It has been pretty tough some games,” he said. “It is a big step up from junior cricket.
“The older men know how to swing and cut the ball.
“Mentally it is a lot tougher.”
Fellows has had both his technique and temperament tested, with plenty of sledging going his way.
“You cop a bit when you’re out there batting,” he said.
“They try to get under your skin.”
Asking if his mummy has let him out to play is one of the more common enquiries but Fellows’ response is to ignore it and concentrate on his game.
It obviously works.
He describes facing former Queensland all-rounder Sippel as “a very good experience”.
“It was a good wake-up call.
“As I was making centre, my hands were shaking.”
Fellows is obviously a fast learner and has thanked his Centrals captain Jason Verrall and coach Scott Barrett for helping him adjust.
“I’ve had to be a bit more patient batting,” he said.
“You have to observe the field and can’t premeditate shots.
“You’ve got to be prepared on the back foot for a short ball.”
It has been a similar learning curve with his left-arm spin bowling.
“You can’t give it as much flight,” he said.
“The batsmen are more attacking.
“They’ll jump down the wicket and hit you for six.”
Subsequently, Fellows is working on getting more dip on the ball to enable him to flight it better.
It is indicative of his attitude, rising to a challenge rather than remaining in his comfort zone.
Fellows is also a Queensland under 15 football representative, playing for the Brisbane Lions under 15s last year.
“I want to go as far as I can, be it cricket or soccer,” the still growing 185cm striker or attacking midfielder said.
With no more Ipswich grade cricket until next February 5, Fellows is eyeing a return to Ipswich Grammar School’s 1st XI when school resumes.
Beyond that he is aiming for Queensland under 17 and under 19 representation and hasn’t ruled out the prospect of getting picked in the Australian under 19 side, despite being four years younger than many of those he will compete against.
“Chris Simpson did it when he was 16,” Fellows said, showing the self-confidence of a champion in the making.
“It can be realistic, yeah. If I put my mind to it.”
Who’s to doubt him?