From Hervey Bay to Women's Ashes: Mooney is on top of the world
November 21, 2017
Proud Queenslander and former Hervey Bay resident Beth Mooney knows what it takes to make dreams come true.
Born in Shepparton in Victoria’s north, Mooney moved to Hervey Bay as a 10-year-old and it wasn’t long before her budding cricket career took off.
Like so many it was an invitation to fill-in for her brother’s cricket team in Victoria that turned into Mooney making regular appearances for Kialla Lakes Cricket Club.
After sitting the first year out in Hervey Bay, Mooney joined her local team and not long after found herself selected in her first Under 12 Queensland Schoolgirls team.
She naturally progressed through the Under 15, 17 and 18 Queensland state teams, often competing above her years, before remarkably making her domestic debut for the Queensland Fire in the Women’s National Cricket League as a 15-year-old in 2010.
Now a core member of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, Mooney looks back on the path she has taken and how far it has taken her...
Tell us about some of the memories you have from the National Championships?
I just remember being excited about going away each year because I had made some good friends from the others teams, including Megan Schutt and Molly Strano. My Queensland team was great and I made some really good friends there, but I had also made some strong friendships with players from other teams as well. It’s pretty cool that now we are teammates in the Australian team; Megan and I often talk about how we swapped shirts at one of the carnivals and now we’re good mates and play on the same team representing Australia.
How much do you think participating in the National Championships helped your development?
It wasn’t an elite environment but it was a step up from the men’s cricket I was playing in Hervey Bay. I could see the road I wanted to take and each year I would set my sights on making a certain team which was going to help me move up to the next team, and so on. Cricket Australia then started selecting squads for an Under 18 talent camp and I wanted to get myself into the Australia setup. I guess I was fortunate enough to play in the Under 15 and Under 17 National Championships a couple of times so I was always playing a few age groups above what my actual age was and that presented a good challenge. I just thrived in that environment where I was around people a bit older and stronger than me and I wanted to be the best there.
What opportunities were you presented with that you may not have had if you continued with club cricket in Hervey Bay?
I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to train at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane and be exposed to world class facilities and coaches, and wouldn’t have been around people my own age trying to do the same thing as me and achieve the same goals. I think that was important for me as I always had people a couple of years older than me who were already established in the Queensland Fire squad and that’s what I wanted to do. If I stayed in Hervey Bay and just played men’s cricket, whilst it was good to hone my skills, there weren’t as many people trying to achieve the same goals as me.
What was it like playing in your first representative all girls team?
It was just nice to be the same as everyone else and I made some really good friends in my regional team as well as the Queensland team. It was nice to play with people my own age and not get looked at twice because I was different to everyone else, we were all the same and everyone was just excited to be there and have a great time. It wasn’t a daunting experience, just a bunch of friends having a good time, enjoying each other’s company and doing something that we loved doing.
If you had one piece of advice for those girls involved in this year’s Championships, what would it be?
Embrace the challenge and the nature of what the tournament is about – and ask lots of questions. One thing I didn’t do at that age was ask questions of people who came in, whether it was Australian players or state players, to engage in conversations and try to further develop my game. Embrace the conversations you have and really get to know your teammates and players in other teams. Who knows, in five years’ time you might be playing together for Australia!
*This article was first published in the Under 18 National Championships tournament program