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Player Profile of the Week - Ronan Brady

This week we talk to one of the club's most recognisable players who has enjoyed a stellar start to his senior Sefton career. Medium pacer Ronan has taken over 200 wickets for the club in both senior and junior age group cricket in the last six years and become known as a stubborn tail end batter who is always up for the fight! Ronan is sponsored by Uri Nal Cake Warehouse.

Name: Ronan Brady

Age: 19

Ronan knocks a batter's middle stump back

How did you first get into cricket?

"I was eight or nine and playing in the garden with my dad and since then I've been mad for it. Early on I could only ever last a few balls before missing a straight one but I could always hold my own with the ball. Dad played a bit and I'd watch it on the TV and it progressed from there and I was always naturally better at it than I was football and other sports.

What brought you to Sefton Park?

The junior section has always been really strong. We went to Liverpool CC which was closer and they told us to come back in a few months. Sefton had Ted (Williams) and Andy Battersby and it was really good. I've stayed ever since. I played in James Stirling's first hard ball match and he and Sam Parkinson are the two who've really come through. We had a really group for a few years.

What do you remember about your senior debut?

I remember Jo Ledbury texting my dad and I turned up expecting not to bowl and bat ten or 11 but I was still buzzing. I remember Jo saying 'well there's only really you and Paul Stirling who can bowl so you'll have to open and you'll probably get a second spell as well'. Unsurprisingly we go absolutely smashed. It was very hot and they put on about 250 for five but I got around one for 40 and I was buzzing. I still look forward to it every Saturday the same as I did six years ago.

How have you developed as a player?

"I think I've always been smarter than most people in terms of trying to think about the game. It comes from the fact I'm not as athletic as a lot of people - those people start with a head start but I've got to make up for it somehow. It made me try and be more accurate than everyone else and try whacky fields and slower balls. With batting it's part of my personality - I don't like to give up easily. I remember in one of my first games I batted out for a draw and I've dine it on and off ever since - I still love batting like that. It gets under people's skins - if I can ruin their day I will make sure that it happens. I know it's pointless because you don't get points for a draw but I love doing it and have often taken more satisfaction from holding out for a draw than taking wickets or getting runs."

Which players who've you played with have stood out?

"James (Stirling) is an exceptional player. I played in Ted's last game at Sefton and even then he took a couple of blinding catches which at his age was really impressive. I've played a lot with Sam (Parkinson) and he's a good mate of mine and he will be exceptional.

And what about players or clubs you've played against?

"I always expect Northern away to be hard - you're happy if you get them out for 200. They always have a good top six and I never look forward to bowling at them. Playing Wallasey at the Bebington Oval is my least favourite away trip - we very rarely win there and there always seems to be some kind of controversy."

You're a student studying maths at John Moores University - is it hard combining studies with cricket?

"It's the first time in my life I've had a lot of stuff going on with work and uni but I played three games last weekend. I'm probably not going to be able to do that very often going forward but I can see myself playing every Saturday for the foreseeable future. It's not just playing for me now - it's the social element too and that's becoming a lot more enjoyable.

What's been your best memory so far at Sefton?

"The Embee Trophy win last season. It was a really great day from a team point of view - looking around there was 11 or 12 guys there and everyone was absolutely buzzing. The vast majority of those guys, without being horrible, did absolutely nothing in that game and yet we were all so buzzing, myself included.

"I remember my first five for at Northern which was followed by me and Jamie (Bowman) hanging around at the end to win the game - that was a big deal for me. We were the only two on the team I think who had a brain between us - there was a game to be won if we just hung around for long enough which we did.

"I got seven wickets in a game last year and more recently I passed 200 wickets for Sefton - I believe I'm the youngest to do that which I really like. I think it's about 160 senior wickets but they all count to me!"

You've become recognisable for your trademark headband!

"That's a great question! In lockdown so many people grew their hair and I grew mine out and went in the nets and it was getting in the way. I started wearing a head band to bowl and it became a thing! It feels strange to think I'm known for it - we played South Liverpool and some guy said: 'You've had a haircut' and another time I walked out to bat and the keeper said: 'You're that guy!' I was like, 'I'm batting at number 11 for Sefton 3rds - I'm not that guy!' He was like 'you're that guy who wore the headband!' I haven't worn it for a couple of weeks because my hair is short again but I make a point of wrapping it around my wrist. It's got me this far so why not!"

What do you make of Sefton Park Cricket Club in 2024?

"It's definitely going in the right direction. Since I've joined the junior section has been great and I've been trying to get involved with that to put a but back. There's a lot of good lads coming through and girls too - Caitlin Summers is exceptional and here sister Abbie is going to be as good. I really enjoyed the 1st XI winning in the cup at Liverpool - that was a great night. It's always been a good place to be and it's getting an even better place to be."

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