Emerging Warrnambool cricketer Hannah Rooke says the opportunity to brush shoulders with WBBL and state-contracted players is providing invaluable learning opportunities for her own game.
The Brierly-Christ Church young gun is plying her trade again this season with Premier cricket powerhouse Essendon Maribyrnong Park where she kicked off her 2022-23 campaign in the first XI in double-header matches on Sunday.
Since making her first XI debut in 2021-22, the Warrnambool College year 11 student has 11 wickets from 10 matches and is regarded as a spin bowler with terrific control and wicket-taking capability.
At times she needs to pinch herself, playing alongside the likes of Victorian and WBBL players Makinley Blows and Sam Bates and playing against some of the country's elite cricketers.
"It's been cool, there's a lot of WBBL and contracted players around and not just from EMP so learning off Makinley Blows, our skipper, has been awesome and from a leadership perspective I've learnt some great tips," she told The Standard.
"Bater (Sam Bates) has been really good from a spin perspective - it's great learning off her and forming connections with her.
"It's been really good. I've been lucky from what I've experienced so far. It makes you realise if you keep working hard for it, things will come your way.
"I feel lucky to be able to look up to those girls, they motivate you to keep striving to get better as a cricketer."
She said this season her focus surrounded consistency, playing her role and being a team-orientated person.
"I've been focusing on my batting and that and then going back to the basics with my bowling so hopefully it sets me up for a good season," she said.
"I've been in touch a lot with my coach George Shaw and we've been talking a lot about what he thinks I can achieve and what I can achieve. I want to be consistent from an all-rounder perspective so not just in my bowling.
"I've been trying to stay consistent and pushing for that one selection and being the best I can be.
"I'm focused on playing my role, even if you don't get a bat each week, you're still in the team and being as encouraging as you can be."
The club's culture is something which help keeps the Bombers' youngster committed to travelling each weekend to Melbourne from Warrnambool.
"EMP have been so good to me, it's my third season now and have been so welcoming," she said.
"It's the culture. They call them 'the oldies', 'bay 13' they're always around the club like former Australian captain Raelee Thompson and they're people you look up to. Even someone like Georgia Wareham, Elyse Villani, they've been around the club.
"They've taken me under their wing and helped me into the cricketer I've become."
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