Gloves off for new face Copeland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gloves off for new face Copeland

Ed Jackson 26/07/2011 06:50:15 PM Comments (0)

A few years ago Trent Copeland was a very tall wicketkeeper-batsman trying to make his name in Sydney's grade competition.

By the end of next month, the 195cm Copeland could be lining up against Sri Lanka as Australia's newest Test quick.

The 25-year-old's story is an unlikely one given he left his hometown of Bathurst to attend university with his main sporting commitment being to hockey and not cricket.

In the space of a few years however Copeland has ditched the hockey stick, then the wicketkeeper's gloves and the bat to become one of the most feared paceman in the Sheffield Shield.

"I went to uni and have been playing for the St George club in Sydney since then," he told reporters on Tuesday after his naming in the 15-man squad for three Tests against Sri Lanka in August and September.

"Started off as a wicketkeeper-batsman, that was about five years ago and since that time I've given away the gloves and I've taken up bowling and I suppose my height and I do a lot of coaching for a living teaching kids how to swing the ball and stuff like that, so I think that's all added to what I can bring to the table.

"I gave it (wicketkeeping) away purely for my batting and I suppose the bowling just found a way in and obviously my attributes lend themselves to me getting a bit more out of my bowling, getting a bit more bounce and stuff like that.

"It certainly wasn't part of the plan (to become a Test bowler)."

But after picking up the ball Copeland's rise has been meteoric.

With a style reminiscent of former NSW and Australia Test quicks Stuart Clark and Glenn McGrath he's collected 87 first class scalps from 17 matches including 8-92 on debut.

He made it past 50 first class wickets for the Blues in just eight matches, quicker than Test stars Bill O'Reilly, Alan Davidson and McGrath.

And he felt his call-up showed how strong consistent performances at state level are still the best way to earn national selection.

"Just to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and if you do perform there's always selections that come on the back of that," he said.

"The Australian team is successful and has been successful for so long because of how hard it is to get into the team and that will be forever the case.

"However many years it took me to get in and however many years it may take me to get into the actual team, I think domestic cricket is strong and it will always be strong because of that."

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