Whiteman lends helping hand to WA Under 17s
October 13, 2017
Western Australia wicket-keeper Sam Whiteman might be stuck on the sidelines, but his love of cricket hasn’t waned.
Whiteman, one of Australia’s rising stars, hasn’t played at domestic level since last summer’s Big Bash League final almost nine months ago due to a serious finger injury.
But the 25-year-old has remained involved in cricket, spending the past two weeks as a player mentor with Western Australia’s Under 17 side at the Under 17 National Championships in Queensland.
“It is a new experience, I’m sort of learning on the job a little bit,” Whiteman said.
“Obviously being up here means I’m not playing, but having said that it’s a really good opportunity to help out the young WA players and be around them.
“It’s obviously been a bit of a rollercoaster the last six months… it’s going to be a bit of a slow grind coming back. I’m trying to take my mind off it and that’s why this is such a perfectly timed thing for me, to come out and help with the boys, take my mind off the finger a bit and I guess made me think about the game a different way.
“It’s good to help out where I can and be around guys who are playing. It’s not as good as playing, but it’s the next best thing.”
Whiteman was involved in the Western Australia side in the lead-up to the tournament, which is coached by Warriors and Perth Scorchers assistant Kade Harvey.
The Western Australia team features a number of exciting young players, including run-machine Jayden Goodwin and skipper Damien Burrage, who have both impressed during the tournament.
As a former player at the under-17 and under-19 carnivals, Whiteman said it had been pleasing to see the young side’s approach.
“I look back on my experiences really positively - it actually feels like a fair while ago now, I’m getting old,” he said.
“I think the carnival is so well run these days, and it’s such a really good opportunity for the best players in the country to play against each other.
“I guess the biggest message from me is to try and enjoy your cricket. These carnivals, I know a lot of kids put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform well, and that creates opportunity at a higher level.
“But I think for me looking back on it, if I could tell myself something it would be to just relax and enjoy it.”