The players’ mums have their say: Part One

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Tomorrow (Sunday) is Mother’s Day, so we thought it was only fair to hear from some of our players’ mums.

We caught up with the mums of Jack Leach, Max Waller and the Overton twins to find out what they had to say about their little boys!

What were they like as children?

Julie (Max Waller’s mum): “He was always keen on sport.  His father was a keen golfer and cricketer so it was inevitable that Max would be involved in sport of some sort.  We lived in the Far East, Hong Kong and Brunei for the first three of years of Max’s life and on returning from there, where I’d been fortunate enough to play golf pretty much every day, I decided to continue to play golf through Max and encouraged him to practice hitting golf balls every day with a cut down seven iron. He continued to practice and on a family holiday to Florida he spent all his holiday money on his first set of ‘proper golf clubs’. Once he attended Millfield School he went from strength to strength in sport and began playing cricket with a vengeance.”

Vicki (Jack Leach’s mum): “I would have to say that from a young age Jack was very single minded.”

Helen (Jamie & Craig Overton’s mum): “Craig and Jamie were typical boys when they were small. They needed to be kept in wide open spaces with plenty of room to run around and hit cricket/footballs around. Confined spaces normally meant a broken picture or vase!”

How many miles do you think the family has clocked up over the years taking them to practice and matches etc?

Julie: “We were fortunate whilst Max was at Millfield and whilst he was boarding there the school made sure he was taken to all matches and practices. A special mention should be made to a guy named Chris Twort who always made sure practices and matches were attended.”

Vicki: “In total I would say that we have racked up about 5,000 miles plus at a guess, and we live in Taunton!”

Helen: “We have probably done over 50,000 miles purely dedicated to Cricket!”

What’s your earliest memory of him playing cricket?

Julie: “My earliest memory of him playing was at Millfield.”

Vicki: “I have a photo of Jack batting in a red T-shirt in the back garden when he was one year old (see below).  There’s also one of him ‘bowling’ when he was two (also see below).  Even at that age if you asked him to ‘throw the ball’ he’d do it right-handed but if you asked him to ‘bowl the ball’ he’d do it left-handed!”

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Helen: “The first summer playing cricket was at North Devon Cricket Club at Instow. I can remember that their Dad (Mark) had made sure they had the right kit: helmet, spikes, bat, gloves and pads. I remember thinking how on earth will they run with all that on!”

When did you realise that they had what it takes to do this professionally?

Julie: “He was playing for Somerset Under 11’s I think, so I guess we always hoped he would just get better and better. Even from an early age you hope they will make it to the top.”

Vicki: “If I’m honest, I think I’m still getting used to the idea!”

Helen: “To be perfectly honest I used to listen to Mark and other members of our home club talking about the potential that they had and I used to sit and think ‘really? ok they can bat and they take some wickets, but they’re just my boys!’”

Did you encourage the cricket or suggest that they look at getting a proper job instead?

Julie: “You encourage your children in whatever choice of career they decide to follow. I suppose every parent wants their child to follow their heart but equally to keep their feet on the ground and maybe have a ‘fall back’ plan. Max knew what he wanted to do and that was that.”

Vicki: “There was never really a choice.  He had his heart set on being a cricketer from an early age and that was that!”

Helen: “The boys have always wanted to play cricket since the age of about 9.  There has never been a conversation about what else they might want to do.  Helping them to choose subjects at school or trying to get them to apply for universities in case it didn’t happen was a challenge. Their outlook was ‘we are going to make it and we will do whatever we need to to make it happen!’  I think they have a proper job, a job they love, but with it comes hard work and a dedication to strive to be at their best. The fitness levels they have to keep up all year round and the diet they have to adhere to is testament to how much they want this. Plus, if they don’t Daz (Darren Veness, Somerset Head of Strength & Conditioning) will be on their case!”

The second part of our Mother’s Day interview will be published tomorrow and we will be finding out, amongst other things whether or not these mums are willing to reveal any embarrassing stories about their sons!