Alex Carey Cried His Eyes Out When The GWS Giants Sacked Him
Just look at him now. That confidence. That beaming smile.
Talented wicket keeper/batsman Alex Carey played brilliantly for Australia in the Cricket World Cup this year, just ahead of The Ashes.
But not everyone knows that this talented all-round sportsman started off his professional sporting life as a footballer with the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
In fact, Carey captained the Giants in their first two seasons -- trial seasons in lower tier competitions -- before the club made its AFL debut in 2012. Sadly, he was axed before he played a fully-fledged AFL game.
Carey's housemate. teammate and best mate at the time was Dylan Shiel, who has since moved on to the Bombers.
The two have remained the closest of friends, and when Carey made his One Day international cricket debut for Australia last year, Shiel wrote about Carey on the site AthletesVoice.
There were lots of great anecdotes about the two of them driving to training in beat-up old Holdens, sharing their dreams, stuffing up their hill-starts. But the best bit was when he spoke of his shock on the day Carey was cut.
"I’ll never forget the day we did our exit interviews at the end of the season," Shiel wrote.
"I knew straight away he got bad news. It was written all over his face when he walked out of the meeting.
"I burst into tears. He burst into tears. The car ride home -- and the days that followed -- were bloody difficult."
Shiel went on to write how shattered the other players were too. He said Carey was the sort of bloke everyone wanted to play with. But at some point, his footy skill set didn't quite match his determination and leadership skills.
No matter. Carey got there in cricket. And how.
The 28-year-old will be a fixture of the Aussie T20 and ODI teams for some time to come, and most cricket followers believe he'll be our next Test wicket keeper/batsman when Tim Paine retires or is dropped.
Meanwhile, Carey remains close with Dylan Shiel. The shirt number he wears in the Big Bash? Yep, it's his way of paying tribute to his mate Shiel, who wore the number 5 for 135 games at the Giants.