Abel Carney is the first to admit that his approach to cricket is somewhat cavalier.
The Bective East keeper-batsman likes to "get the game moving", and his batting innings usually fit neatly into the 'fast and furious' category.
Carney's instinctive approach for the game had bled into his match preparation as well. The 37-year-old admitted to the Leader that he "never used to worry about training too much".
And as recently as last year, it served him well.
Carney was the leading run-scorer in Tamworth first grade for 2022/23, with 435 at an average of 36. But this year, his fortunes have changed - rather extremely.
The opener has scored just 16 runs from five innings for Bective in 2023/24, with a high score of eight. This lean trot has spurred him to reassess how he prepares for games in the future.
"I haven't really had a chance to train too much, living away for work," Carney said.
"I'm getting that little bit older now, I probably need to be able to have a hit through the week."
Working in earthmoving, Carney has "been on the road for the last two years". He bases himself in Moree through the week, then comes home on weekends.
Despite the difficulty it presents in terms of training, Carney is ultimately unfussed by his recent lack of form. He has been around for long enough to trust that he will find it again before long.
"I've been seeing the ball all right," he said.
"That's just cricket I suppose, it'll turn around one day. I don't let it beat me up too much. As long as I give my best, that's all I try to do."
Carney's next chance to remedy his battling start to the season will come this weekend, when Bective take on Old Boys in a day-nighter at No. 1 Oval.
Though he personally prefers to keep wicket before he bats to help get his eye in, Carney intimated that they might look to bat first if given the choice, to make the most of bowler-friendly conditions under lights.
"The white ball is usually not too bad to see, but we might get a bit of extra nibble or something happening at night. A bit of wobble with the ball," he said.
And though Old Boys are yet to record a win this year, they have ample firepower in their batting and cannot be underestimated.
With the likes of Ben Middlebrook, Tim Kensell, and Adam McGuirk populating their middle order, Carney knows that Bective's bowlers will need to be at their best.
"They've still got some handy bats," he said.
"Enough fellas to trouble you anyway, if you're not on your game. I think [Brendan Rixon] said it after the last game, the comp's fairly close at the moment. If you're not on your game, you'll probably get beaten."