SOMETIMES you need to grab an opportunity to grow and show you belong.
Just ask Jayden Salmon.
The 23-year-old played his first division one game for Allansford-Panmure this past Saturday, replacing injured wicketkeeper Rowan Ault behind the stumps.
"My goal in any cricket and sport is to play at the highest level I can," Salmon told The Standard.
"I felt quietly confident I could play division one this season but I thought I'd try my best and push as much as I could in division two (in the first two rounds).
"It's unlucky for the team that it came through an injury. That's not how I wanted to come in, but now that I am in I plan to stay there for as long as I can."
(Injury) is not how I wanted to come in, but now that I am in I plan to stay there for as long as I can.Jayden Salmon
Salmon, who started his career at Panmure before moving to Geelong for university, played at Waurn Ponds-Deakin for the past four seasons.
He said his experience of the Geelong Cricket Association, which has three divisions with up to four grades, was strong but wasn't at the same level as the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's level.
Salmon's former side competes in the competition's division three.
"I was playing ones up there but in Geelong, there's so many teams and the good players are spread out across those teams," he said.
"Down here you have a wider area to pick from, less players and talent (is more concentrated).
"I was watching (Russells Creek wicketkeeper) Cam Williams last week and it was awesome to watch. It wasn't awesome in that he was getting our blokes out, but when you have that standard of players down here it makes a difference."
Salmon said morale was high at Uebergang Oval despite his side's winless start.
"If you rock up here, you'd swear we hadn't just lost three games in a row," he said. "The confidence is still sky high. It's not about any one player but Chris Bant, for example, has had three low scores. "I've spoken to him recently and he's still confident. He feels he's one score away. It's not like he's out of form because he'll come to the nets and hit them amazingly.
"We're doing things right. We bowled well and we're fielding well.
"Our batting is letting us down but we know a big score in the top six and everyone contributes we're making 200 and we'll defend that on any ground."
Salmon's Allansford-Panmure side will tackle reigning premier Brierly-Christ Church on Saturday.
The Bulls are likely to miss star all-rounder Mark Murphy who is nursing a knee injury.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.