CHRIS Herden will become South Tamworth Bowling club’s second state open men’s bowling representative when the Tamworth greenkeeper plays for NSW against Western Australia in Perth later this month.
The 22-year-old, who bowls for South but works as the Tamworth City Bowling Club greenkeeper, jets out for Perth on September 20.
“We play four games,” the 22-year-old Herden told The Leader on the weekend while representing Zone 3 in the State Sides Championships in Tamworth.
“The first day is going to be interesting. We fly over and arrive about 3pm and play that night. We play four games against WA. Going to be great, I’m playing second in Wayne Turley’s side.”
It’s Chris’ debut in the senior state side after playing a number of games for the NSW Under 25s.
“Yeah, my first crack at the opens,” he said after completing his, and Zone 3’s Sides Championships commitments at South Tamworth.
“Played in the State Under 18s, the 25s and the state reserves.”
He follows in the footsteps of South Tamworth’s Bob Fowler, who also represented the state open side.
Fowler has been in poor health of late and was recently honoured at a club function, STBC president Scott Sweeney said.
“It’s great for the club to have two state reps,” Sweeney said.
“We had a do for Bobby just recently, he’s been ill and battling with his health so we had a function to honour him and presented him with a small memento and trophy to honour his efforts. Chris’s achievement is also a big reward for him. The club is very proud of him. That’s he’s also a local junior is also very pleasing.”
Herden started playing when he was 12 and with the likes of South stalwart and grandfather Kerry McCarthy to coach him he soon became an outstanding young talent.
“I started here when I was 11 or 12,” Herden said.
“I’ve always been here. Pop (Kerry McCarthy) helped me and I took it from there.”
A junior star he’s also played Premier League (with the now defunct Tamworth Redbacks) and won numerous titles in and around the Northern Inland region.
“I can’t believe I’ve been picked in the State side though,” he said.
“I had a few games in the state Under 25s and won the player of the series three times so that was good.”
And a major factor in his elevation to state open level.
It now opens another door for Chris and takes him closer to a major goal.
“I’d love to make the Australian Under 25 side,” he said.
“That’s a fair way off though.”
In the meantime he wants to play as well as he can and while the weekend’s State Sides Championships was a disappointment he’s hoping for a much better time in Perth.
“We didn’t win a game,” Chris said of the weekend’s sides titles.
“It was still a good weekend though. A lot of good players were here and I caught up with a lot of good mates (and players).”
A number of them will be heading to Perth with Chris, who has enjoyed plenty of personal and team success so far this year.
“I had a good Easter weekend, won the Singles and Pairs at City,” he recalled.
“And we (South Tamworth) have the State Fours coming up at Soldier’s Point.”
Chris will skip that side which includes Nick Golledge, Terry Cummings and Nev White.
“We won the Zone 3 title at Bingara,” he said.
“Nick’s also in the singles. We (South) also won the triples at district level but got beaten at Zone.”
Something of a “wild child” early on, Chris’ life and bowls has matured to a new level in the last year or so.
“This is the best club in the Zone and the best greens,” he said.
Scott Sweeney is impressed by that loyal assertion.
“He’s a good kid,” he said.
“He’s worked hard to get there though. It hasn’t happened over night. He’s been in the State Under 25s for a fair while. His selection is good for the club too. The Sides Championships have been massive for the club too. We’ve had a lot of good comments from the visiting players about the greens as well.”
Scott Sweeney is also hoping Chris Herden’s success might help entice more juniors to the game and local clubs.
“We haven’t got many juniors to tell the truth,” he said.