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Player Profile of the Week - Pete Ostler

This week's spotlight shines on all rounder Pete Ostler. Pete has been a regular at Croxteth Drive for over a decade, turning out for both the 2nd XI and 1st XI. He has played over 120 games for the club, scoring almost 2,000 runs, including six 50s and one century while with the ball he has taken 66 wickets. Thanks to PDC Gardens for sponsoring Pete.

Name: Pete Ostler

Age: 32

Pete Ostler

How did you come to play cricket for Sefton?

"I was a student at the University of Liverpool and was looking to move to a club in Liverpool because my degree meant I didn't have much time in the summer holidays so I wasn't able to get home. I'd played at Sefton for the university teams and got into it from there. Earlier at university I'd been travelling home to Somerset to play a bit - I'm a village boy from just outside Yeovil and played for North Perrott Cricket Club. I played originally for Westlands Sports which is associated with the helicopter manufacturer but moved to North Perrott when I was 15.

What attracted you to the club?

"I played there for the university and there was a few people I knew there - Paddy Stern was one who played in the 1st XI - the link with us using the ground and being around the place and I was living on Smithdown Road so it was very local. It seemed the natural place to move to.

What are your best memories of playing at the club?

"It's been a big chunk of my life now and I've been lucky to play a lot of cricket at Sefton. One of my favourite memories is my debut - it was a cup game away at Northern on a blazing hot day. I didn't know everyone that well but they were all super welcoming and it turned put to be a really good game of cricket where we were chasing about 190 and ended up being 90-7 - me and Charlie (Foulder) put on quite a few runs and just about got over the line with nine wickets down. Only having played for small teams in Somerset where there was only a 1st and 2nd XI, when we got back there was five teams of people all in the bar and it was just a different experience for me and one I really enjoyed.

"There was a 1st XI game at Northop Hall that always sticks out as well - Dan Kelly and I always talk about it - it was another run chase which are always the best games. It was rain-affected and we'd been set about 180 to get in 26 overs. I got a duck but we managed to win it - it was a great trip back on the mini bus with Richie Conlon visiting a local convenience store for some beverages."

Who are the best players you've played with Sefton Park?

"The two that stick out are Justin Greaves and Jonathan Drakes - they both did well with their cricket but it was more how they were off the pitch. They were just really nice young lads who had a lot of time for everyone - even lads in the 2nd XI. They were super friendly and just got really involved with the club.

"I've also always really admired Richie Forsyth. I'm not saying he's the best player I've played with but it's because of the some of the stuff that he's able to do that I'm not able to do. He's a very patient batter and a very good player of spin - I admire his traits highly."

And what about opponents that you've come up against?

"It's a bit of a running joke that I'm Matthew Keogh at Wallasey's bunny. He's a seam bowler who gets me out pretty much every time we play them and I never seem to score any runs. I don't even know what he does with it- he just seems to bowl straight and gets me every time. It's pretty demoralising.

"I thought Bootle's pro, Hermann Rolfes, was pretty good - anyone who can bowl that fast isn't much fun to play against.

"I played in a testimonial game as part of Andy Caddick's benefit year against a Somerset XI for North Perrott around 2008. A certain Jos Buttler played and he got a duck although he's gone on to do pretty well since. The player who made an absolute show of me that day was a gut called Michael Munday. He was a leg spinner who had a fairly average first class career but I could not lay a bat on him at all."

How do you see this season going?

"I think I'll be playing mostly 2nd XI but I'm always delighted to play 1st XI cricket whenever given the opportunity. I'm pretty realistic about my capabilities now I'm aged 32! The 1st XI look really balanced this season and I think they're going to have a good season. That usually means the 2nd XI will do well and we've got a decent mix of youth and experience - it's been great to see Tom come through and do well and become a 1st XI cricketer. I think we'll have a good year and before we lost the first two games I thought we'd be right up there - I strill think we'll be near the top."

What do you make of the club as a whole in 2024?

"It's a good place. I'd be lying I suppose if I said I enjoy it quite as much as I used to but that's only natural as you get older. When I was 21 I was out every weekend and there was a good group of us getting pissed after the game. But your life changes a bit and naturally people have a lot on their plates that I didn't have earlier in life. Cricket is a time consuming and tough sport. I still love playing though and that's why I do. It's still a great place to play."

Tell us about you life outside cricket?

"I'm a nurse and work on the crash team at the Royal Hospital. Before that I worked in A&E. It's not ideal for a cricketer as I have to do a lot of out of hours work."

In 2018 I missed a whole year of cricket to walk the Pacific Crest Trail which runs 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. You go through California, Oregon and Washington and it was a pretty cool trip. It meant I missed out on the 2nd XI's only silverware during my time at the club - maybe it wasn't worth it!"

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