THE old-fashioned path of working your way through the ranks has proven to be a successful journey for Matthew Williams.
The 20 year-old has played at Nestles since under 13s and is now entrenched as the wicketkeeper-batsman in the club’s division one team.
While he has had a taste of division one cricket over the previous couple of seasons, 2013-14 is turning into a breakthrough year with Williams making the most of his opportunities.
“Last season I was wicketkeeper in the division two team and when I went up for division one games it was as a batsman,” Williams said.
“Cam Williams was the division one keeper so when he left for Melbourne it left the spot open and I got the chance.
“I started keeping early in my cricket. My dad Stephen was a keeper so I always had an interest in it, so it is good to be able to keep in division one.”
Nine catches and a stumping so far represent solid figures for Williams behind the stumps and he has also developed into a dependable batsman for the Factory.
In his 12 completed innings, including the Twenty20 games at the start of the season, Williams has only failed to reach double figures twice and has the impressive average of 37.
Williams credited Nestles coaches Brett Eldridge and Ross Corbett as strong influences on his progress this season, with a strong work ethic the central theme coming through from the team leaders.
Williams has an added respect for his coaches, having this year taken on the role of coach of the Nestles under 15 team along with his division one teammate Cory Gallichan.
“Coaching has helped me understand the situation of the game better and to take on board what the coaches are teaching you,” he said.
“It has been a really good challenge and one I am enjoying.”
Williams is down to come in at number four for Nestles when play resumes against Nirranda today at the Reid Oval.
Last Saturday Nirranda made an even 200 and Nestles will resume at 1-25. In other round eight games Port Fairy has a mountain to climb when it resumes at 2-15 in pursuit of West Warrnambool’s score of 270.
Merrivale will start today on 2-31 chasing the Brierly Christ Church score of 200 and East Warrnambool-YCW will start its innings after Allansford made 251.
Russells Creek is setting out after Woodford’s score of 198, while Dennington will have to rely on its lower order as it starts today at 5-65 chasing Wesley CBC’s 132.