Most families are proud to boast just one child playing high-level sport at a young age. Other families, such as the Pooles, are lucky enough to possess three. Brothers Brady (13), Darcy (16) and Jack (19) have established themselves as cornerstone members of Warrandyte’s cricket program, all playing roles in the First and Second XI for the Bloods.
The trio recently reached significant milestones within the local cricketing landscape for different reasons.
The brothers were first the talk of the town when they were all named to play together for the Second XI at the beginning of the season, before Brady made further waves when he became the youngest player in club history to run out for the Firsts aged just 13.
“We started off the year in the Twos – at the start of the season Dad said there was a huge announcement about it at the team selection – it was a big surprise that Brady was playing Twos because he played Sixes last year, and it was a really big deal that we played on the same side because we play so much cricket here in the backyard. It’s really great playing with each other,” said Darcy Poole.
After all playing together for the Second XI, Brady was eventually named in the Firsts, an honor that wasn’t lost on the young all-rounder.
“It was a big deal – I didn’t really expect it to be honest – certainly at the start of the season I didn’t expect to; just to be playing with people who have played at a good level of cricket, a level I want to play at when I’m older it’s a big deal to me.
“It’s different, there’s more persistent play.
“You play against some really good players who have had good careers in cricket and then come back down to a local level — it’s not too huge a jump from the Seconds, but it’s noticeable,” Brady says.
One of the major benefits of playing up the order for the boys has been the opportunity to play and work with club coach Jake Sherriff, which both brothers consider a massive benefit.
“When I first played with him that was one of the biggest things, playing with someone who has played district cricket; but even last year when I was in the Sixes, which is the lowest division, he was still coming down and telling me how to improve my game,” Brady said.
The family’s progression is made more remarkable when you consider just how young they are and how much experience they lack.
Both Darcy and Brady have just four years of cricket under their belt, and even less senior cricket exposure.
Despite this, both players are logging strong individual and team performances.
“I’m a batsman, I don’t really bowl much, personally I made 87 earlier this year just before Xmas,” Darcy says.
“I’m more of a bowler, and sometimes bat, but not usually in the seniors – I don’t have too many standout games, I haven’t had the standout performances like Darce – I’ve probably had more success keeping teams playing the way we want them to play,” Brady says.
The journey the brothers have taken to becoming talented cricketers began with Jack, who as the eldest was able to influence his younger siblings.
“We both started playing at the same time because Jack forced us to go down to training – it was after Christmas a while back and we had just started playing backyard cricket — he told us to come down see what is like and we haven’t stopped since,” Darcy says.
“Before we started playing cricket we didn’t even think about it, we thought it was boring, Dad would be watching it and we thought “why would you watch tha”, but we started to get into it and now we can’t stop,” Brady says.
Warrandyte Cricket Club are certainly glad that the brothers made the decision to pick up the bat and ball, and with youngest brother Oscar — aged 11 — still waiting in the wings, the Pooles may soon have another superstar wearing the baggy whites at Warrandyte Reserve.