JUST 12 months ago Seb Shiells was preparing for a season behind the stumps.
Once a wicketkeeper, the now 18-year-old never would've imagined he'd be taking the new ball as a bowler for a finals contender - North Warrnambool Eels - in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's top grade.
But here he is.
Shiells, who was given a taste of division one through Woodford's all-conquering 2021-22 which yielded everything but a two-day premiership, is likely to spend the majority of the season in the Eels' top side this summer.
"Originally I started as a 'keeper and had a bowl in the nets. The guys said 'we'd better get you bowling'," Shiells told The Standard.
Originally I started as a 'keeper and had a bowl in the nets. The guys said 'we'd better get you bowling'.- Seb Shiells
"I've built my way up from there. It was good. In the twos I've been opening the bowling and getting a lot of overs in.
"It's helped me out."
The Emmanuel College student, who finished his year 12 exams on Tuesday, said he'd "bowl the four overs" throughout juniors but was mainly a wicketkeeper-batsman.
His 20-wicket haul in the Eels' division two side this past season all but cemented his switch to bowling full-time.
Shiells said he was using the exposure to a high level of cricket to further develop his craft.
"Hank (Schlaghecke) bowled really well against Port Fairy on the weekend and that sort of gives you a standard to work towards," he said.
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"I think I've got the pace right with my bowling. I think now it's about making sure the line and length is what I want it to be.
"I'm trying to get a better length and hopefully that'll lead to more wickets."
Shiells' weeks have been jam-packed with sport. The defender has also been featuring in North Warrnambool Eagles' Let's Talk Cup side.
"At the moment it's pretty much every night of the week. We've got footy Monday and Wednesday and cricket Tuesday and Thursday," he said.
"Sunday is really my only day off."
North Warrnambool Eels skipper Nick Butters said Shiells was improving with each session.
"We think he's picked up a yard or so this year," Butters said.
"He was probably unlucky not to play more last season but we were pretty settled and he got a couple of cracks and bowled well when he played.
"He deserves his chance and I'd imagine he'll be there (in division one) all year probably." The Eels will play Brierly-Christ Church on Saturday.
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