Promising Ripley allrounder ready to step into top team Fire
AS A 14-year-old Casey Ryan once cracked a straight drive so sweetly it nearly broke a QT photographer's shin bone.
The now 19-year-old from Ripley is set to make her Queensland debut today when the Fire take on NSW in a 50 over match at Allan Border Field.
"I'm glad it's only a one-dayer," the former Central Districts all-rounder said. "As a medium pacer."
Ryan feared that exposure in a T20 match could lead to a rude welcome to the big time.
"I'm really nervous," she admitted.
"I just think to myself, 'Keep it full. Keep going through my rhythm, top of off stump'.
"I get a lot of movement off the seam.
"I basically put it on the spot six times and get them frustrated.
"It's good it's a home game.
"My whole family is going to be there."
The apprehension is understandable in a teenager on debut.
But she would not be where she is without a huge dose of self-belief as well.
"It's been really hard," Ryan said of her rise to senior state representation.
"Self belief has been a big factor.
"Having something to strive for really helps keep you going, and setting little goals."
Ryan first represented Queensland at under 12 level, proving she had the natural talent.
But it has been her work ethic that has got her to this level.
"Persistence, training and keeping positive," she said of the key to her success.
"Fitness is important because once you're out in the middle it's a mental game.
"Last year, being a rookie in the Fire squad I noticed my game improved so much.
"I'm proud, honoured and privileged to be given this opportunity."
The Fire is dealing with the retirement of champions Mel Bulow and Kirsten Pike.
It was a back injury to Haidee Burkett that provided the opening for Ryan in the team.
It didn't stop them opening their one-day campaign with a first-up win in Perth last week however.
"We have a really good side," Ryan said.
"It's a young side.
"But we have a good chance (of success).
"We've started off really well so hopefully we can keep the momentum going.
"We want to keep doing well and want the WNCL (Women's National Cricket League - 50 over championship) trophy and keep the good vibes going."
- Fitness/ gym: Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 6am.
- Cricket practice: Tuesday, Saturday and sometimes Thursday evenings plus club training on Wednesday.
- Games: Club fixtures on Sundays.