By Nick Armistead
Former Parkdale Vultures defender and current Victorian Bushrangers paceman, Scott Boland, has been placed on standby for Australia’s first Test against the West Indies on the back of a career-best seven-wicket haul against Western Australia last week.
The 26-year-old destroyed the Warriors’ batting line-up with figures of 7/31 in the second innings, helping the Bushrangers to a comprehensive 356-run victory and more than a six-point lead at the top of the Sheffield Shield standings.
“It was so good and we bowled so well to bowl them out in 28 overs,” Boland told VAFA Media.
“It’s obviously my best figures and probably the best I’ve bowled and it helped us get a win.”
Despite enjoying a dominant outing in Perth and claiming nine wickets in a man-of-the-match performance, the announcement of being placed on standby came as a surprise to Boland.
“I’m stoked, I’m so excited,” he said.
“I really didn’t expect it but I’m so happy about it.”
Prior to his rise in the Australian cricketing ranks, Boland spent his junior years combining his love for the Kookaburra with his interest in the Sherrin.
Growing up in the Frankston-Peninsula area, Boland played football in the Victorian Amateur Football Association, making the move from Mordi-Brae Junior Football Club to the Parkdale Vultures in 2007 after a three-year stint away from the game.
“So all my mates kept playing and I stopped playing footy when I was 16 and then I started up again in Under 19s when everyone was all back playing there (Parkdale),” he said.
Boland’s decision to move to the Vultures was made significantly easier due to his family’s longstanding connection with the club.
“My Dad’s played at Parkdale for years and years so I knew everybody there,” he said.
“All three of my cousins play there: Tim’s the captain, Matt is back from Subiaco now so he’s back playing there and then their younger brother Jackson is playing centre half back.
“I loved all the blokes out there.”
Cricket was always the main priority for Boland and after four years, 41 matches and a raft of injuries manning defensive posts for Parkdale, he decided to hang up the boots and focus entirely on perfecting his seamers.
“I’ve always loved cricket more than footy so when I got to the stage where I started playing first grade down at Frankston, I sort of decided it was about time to give footy away and give cricket a proper crack,” he said.
“So I did that and it’s obviously paid off now.”
As a staple in the Bushrangers’ fast bowling brigade, Boland’s decision has proved inspired as he boasts 71 wickets at 30.14 since making his first-class cricket debut in 2011/12.
Now at the forefront of selectors’ minds and as one to watch in the future, the former Vultures’ opportunity to don the baggy green may just be around the corner.