ACT move a win for Connolly
Josh Connolly is thankful for his move from Queensland to the ACT to pursue cricket. Photo: Jay Cronan
He left Queensland chasing his first-class cricket dream, now Josh Connolly faces his home state with the aim of delivering the ACT Comets the Futures League title.
The Comets can claim their second piece of silverware in three years if they collect first-innings points in their final round match with the Queensland Academy of Sport at Allan Border Field, starting on Monday.
Connolly was on Wednesday included in a 13-man squad for the game having become a valuable addition since making the move south in the off-season.
The 20-year-old has featured in every game after taking the advice of Queensland and former Australian selector Trevor Hohns and testing his luck in Canberra under the tutelage of Comets coach Mark Higgs.
The return of former Test off-spinner Nathan Hauritz to Queensland and the emergence of promising leggie Cameron Boyce led to Connolly joining the Comets in search of greater opportunities.
''Trevor Hohns played at my club in Brisbane and said due to them bringing the likes of Hauritz back and with Boyce coming through that I should look at other avenues,'' Connolly said.
''Working with Higgsy and being among the high-performance squad has been better than I could have imagined. I would've been a club cricketer in Brisbane, whereas here I'm able to be a semi-professional cricketer and work on my game.''
Taking his time and resisting the urge to get batsmen out every ball had been one the main lessons Connolly had picked up from Higgs.
The Comets are tied on 12 competition points with Tasmania and need only first-innings points to clinch the trophy.
The Comets have been dealt a blow with leading wicket-taker Andrew Maher out with a shoulder injury.
Newcastle fast bowler Josh Bennett has been called into the extended squad and would make his debut if selected.
There's also a recall for in-form Wests-UC captain Ben Oakley.