ACT Comets batsman Dean Solway has been living in South Australia attending the Redbacks Academy. Photo: Jay Cronan
ACT Comets young gun Dean Solway made a ''gutsy'' decision to move to South Australia and has proved he has the desire to make the most of his immense potential.
That's the view of former Australian bowling expert Troy Cooley, who got an up close view of the 19-year-old batsman as coach of the Chairman's XI in last week's tour match with Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval.
After seeing off a bouncer barrage in his unbeaten 22-ball innings, Solway will be after an extended stay in the middle when he lines up for the Comets in the Futures League match with South Australia, starting Monday at Queanbeyan's Freebody Oval.
Solway possesses inside knowledge on his opponents, having relocated to Adelaide in the off-season to join the Redbacks Academy, while still being eligible for the Comets.
Cooley said the move would only further enhance Solway's chances of taking the next step from promising talent to contending for state and national honours.
''It's all about how far does he want to go,'' Cooley said. ''A lot will depend on how much he wants it, there's great opportunities around the country for batsmen.
''He's made the move, that's gutsy, that proves that he's got the desire and wants to go forward.
''He just needs to get the performances and keep improving.''
With three half-centuries from four innings in the Futures League this season and 244 runs at an average of 81.33, Solway is reaping the rewards of training with the Redbacks and playing grade cricket in Adelaide with the Prospect club.
That led to his selection for the Chairman's XI, rubbing shoulders with former Australian batsman Usman Khawaja, Test hopeful Alex Doolan and hard-hitting Twenty20 international Glenn Maxwell.
''To be picked in these sort of games it means that people are interested,'' Solway said.
''It's another chance to perform well and these games get noticed a lot.
''It's a privilege and a great opportunity for me.''
Solway's chance to impress for the Chairman's XI was brief, coming in at number eight and finishing on five not out before the compulsory declaration after 100 overs at 6-437.
He bore the brunt of a Sri Lankan pace attack eager to test out its bouncers before Friday's first Test against Australia in Hobart.
''There was one guy, (Dhammika) Prasad, he didn't have too many in my half of the wicket, but it was good,'' Solway said.
''It's not every day you get to bat against an international side, so I was pretty happy to get a chance.''
Tuggeranong paceman Chris Prescott will make his Comets debut while leg-spinner Shane Devoy comes in for veteran all-rounder Mark Higgs, who will sit out the game to focus on his coaching duties.
The match has been transferred from Manuka Oval while lights are installed this week.
ACT Comets v South Australia at Freebody Oval, Queanbeyan, from Monday to Thursday. Play starts at 10.30am each day.