North Geelong bowler wins reality TV series to earn Renegades contract
CAPTAIN of the North Geelong Cricket Club Tom Mathieson is preparing himself for the trip of a lifetime after winning the fan vote of the reality TV show Renegades Recruit.
Mathieson will head up to Darwin in the next week or so as part of the Melbourne Renegades travelling squad playing in the Northern Territory Strike League.
The Magpie skipper received plenty of messages and praise following the announcement he had won the TV show, as many of his teammates watched the screening live with Mathieson in attendance during one of the club’s preseason trainings.
“It has been a little bit overwhelming given the amount of messages and support I’ve had,” Mathieson said.
“When I found out I made the top three I seriously didn’t expect it.
“I felt I did pretty good, but all the other boys were really good cricketers, so it was a bit of a surprise to me.
“During that last little bit of the selection period, I was pretty nervous going into that and I don’t usually get nervous.”
The North Geelong Cricket Club is one of the biggest parts of Mathieson’s life, describing it as his second home and full of positive individuals.
“The amount of good people at that club is ridiculous and I think everyone there knows that I would never leave,” he said.
“It’s like a second family there, it’s full of volunteers and it’s just a place where you want to be.” Mathieson also mentioned that his love for the club and the friendships he has accumulated over the years had been the predominant factor in why he has never played in the Premier League.
He finished with 39 per cent of the 7000 votes submitted by the public to decide the TV series’ top three finalists through social media.
Co-head coach of the Magpies First XI Jack Hall says it is a perfect reflection of the kind of guy Mathieson is.
“You see how many votes he won by, and it sort of explains what kind of person he is,” Hall said.
“I don’t think there would be many in Geelong cricket that would have a bad word to say about Tom. Probably a few batsmen would, but he is the nicest bloke you can meet.”
Up next for Mathieson is to travel north to Darwin where he is excited to get stuck into the action, but when that is exactly depends on COVID-19 restrictions easing for interstate travel.
“It still has not sunk in that I’m going to be going up there,” he said.
“I think once I get there and get a day or two of training sessions in, or maybe a game, it will sink in then that I am a part of it.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s pretty amazing.”
Mathieson said there are five Renegades playing contracts offered to members of the academy squad.