Caps fit for Foster in bid for national crown

RUN: Stockton-Raymond Terrace off-spinner Nick Foster, in action earlier this season, will represent the Bush Blues for a fifth straight time at the Australian Country Championships next month. Picture: Marina NeilNick Foster has worn the Stockton coloursfor the best part of two decades.

He’s been amongthe Newcastle representative squad for around a dozen campaigns.

And now the the 34-year-old off-spinner’sabout to receive hisfifth straight Bush Blues’ cap for NSW Country selection.

He knows he’s on a roll and wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Of course [it’s special]. There are plenty of people who would like to do it [play for NSW Country], but they don’t get the chance,” Foster said.

“I’ve just been fortunate enough to be given an opportunity and it’s beena great experience.”

During that periodFoster, who lives on the city’s northern peninsula, has travelled to Woolongong, Mount Gambier, Bendigo and Canberra for the Australian Country Championships.

This time around the venue is Geraldton, meaning a trek across the Nullarbor next month in pursuit of some sought-after national silverware.

One that Foster has yet to claim.

“I came in the year after they last won it, so I might even be the jinx,” he said.

“We did win the one-day part last year but we went terrible in the T20s, so it would be good to get the overall job done.”

Foster said the 2017-2018 group, includingNewcastle state-title teammatesNathan Price and Joe Price, would be much better equipped to deal with the changed tournament format in edition number two.

Two-dayers have been scrapped from the competition structure with now a mix of one-day and T20 fixtures on the draw.

“We didn’t really deal with it that well last year,” Foster said.

“Hopefully we are better equipped this time around and I think a fair chunk of the side now have experience in the Sydney T20 competition as well.Having guys like Nathan Price back really adds a level of calmness we probably didn’t have before.”

It comes after Foster helped steer Newcastle to a third NSW Country Championship crown since 2013-2014, featuring the final against Central Coast at Bowral’s Bradman Oval last month.

“We’ve had a little period over the last seven or eight years that has been pretty successful,” he said.

“Both at country level and holding our own in the Sydney T20 competition.”

Closer to home and thissummer has been a bit tougher, with the Seagulls again struggling near the bottom of the ladder.

But Foster is up for the challenge and a week after bowling 40 overs from one end he made his highest first grade score staving off an outright loss, falling one short of a maiden century.

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