Matthew Wade traded football career in favour of cricket
Matthew Wade had an opportunity to become a professional footballer just like his father Scott Wade, but he opted to become a cricketer instead
Matthew Wade had an opportunity to become a professional footballer just like his father Scott Wade, but he opted to become a cricketer instead.
He had even contemplated an Australian Football League career. At the age of 17, Wade was the vice-captain of the Tassie Mariners in the TAC Cup.
His teammates included Sam Lonergan (captain), Grant Birchall, Justin Sherman, and Jack Riewoldt. Wade had football in his blood since his father Scott Wade was, and still is, the chief executive of AFL Tasmania.
His grandfather Michael Wade, was a two-time premiership player for Hobart in the erstwhile TFL and later served as the club''s president.
Cricket was represented in his family by his uncle Tony, a southern Tasmanian stalwart, but he was seriously outnumbered in the family.
Matthew's dad Scott Wade reveals that when his son was a kid, his heart was more in football than cricket.
Scott said Matthew faced various problems, which hindered his career in football.
At the suggestion that his belligerency came via genetic passage, Scott said with a smile: "Yes, his mother's like that."
"Whatever, and from wherever, it was actually one of Matthew's problems on the footy field: he preferred earning hard kicks to the comfortable pastime of collecting easy ones. Another problem was lack of height. He stands only 170 centimeters, perhaps an asset for a wicketkeeper but not for a modern footballer," he said.
A third problem was that, even with the possibility of a football career on the radar, Wade was reluctant to compromise his cricket.
He resisted conventional pre-season footy preparation because it clashed with his summer sport. He was nominated for the AFL draft but wasn't selected.
While football had a chance to claim him at that point, Wade's reluctance to part with cricket made it his sport by default. Any remaining issue of priorities was settled when he was chosen in the Australian under-19 team to go to Sri Lanka for the 2006 World Cup.