Sheedy axing puts Carey on path to Oz side

Dec 29, 2017 - 2:06 AM Having his AFL dream ripped from under him by Kevin Sheedy was perhaps the best thing ever to happen to Alex Carey.

The swashbuckling Adelaide Strikers and South Australian batsman and wicketkeeper has since put himself firmly in the frame for Australian representative honours.

On the tail of a stellar 12 months, the 26-year-old hit an unbeaten 83 from 59 balls in the Strikers' six-run BBL win over the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Thursday night on his way to man-of-the-match honours.

It seems Carey was always destined to play on the SCG, only he always thought it would be AFL rather than cricket.

He was a member of the Greater Western Sydney squad in their first two years when they played in the national under-18s competition and the NEAFL.

A prodigiously talented midfielder who was playing reserve grade for SANFL side Glenelg at 15, he appeared to be on the fast track to an AFL career when he won GWS's best and fairest in his first year at the expansion franchise.

But at the end of 2011, just as the club was about to enter the AFL in 2012, he was cut by inaugural Giants coach Sheedy.

"It's your dream, gone in front of your eyes and I was really lucky to go home to a really close family and get some really good support," Carey said.

"It was ... keep going with footy or sit down with (SA high performance manager) Tim Nielsen who called up. We had a chat and he backed me in from that day."

Carey refused to remain bitter and said he was good friends with Sheedy.

"Kevin and I actually get along really well," he said.

"I was sitting on a plane and heading up to Sydney and I saw Kevin, he was coming down the aisle and he kept coming and he actually had the seat next to me.

"He's fantastic, he's a really good guy."

Carey last season set a record for most catches by a keeper during a Sheffield Shield season, gloving 59.

He scored his maiden Shield century against Queensland in Cairns before the mid-season break and says he's dreaming of an Australian call-up.

While Tim Paine looks likely to retain his place in the T20 side, the ODI keeping job is up in the air after part-timer Peter Handscomb wore the gloves during the recent tour of India.

"Playing for your country in all formats, it's something I really want to do," Carey said.

"Hopefully I can put some good performances on the board and you never know."

Source: AAP

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