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Seagulls Skipper to Reach Rep Milestone

HE WAS the 17-year-old plucked from second grade to debut in Newcastle's

senior representative cricket team.

Now, 21 years down the track, it's fair to say Nick Foster has repaid the faith

invested in him by those visionary selectors.

Foster is not only Newcastle's incumbent captain, but the Stockton all-rounder

will rack up a rare milestone on Sunday when he plays his 50th match at the NSW

Country Championships.

Merewether veteran Simon Moore is believed to be the only Novocastrian to

have played more country championships games than Foster, who said he has long

since lost count of his overall games for the city's rep team.

"In terms of all games for Newcastle, God knows," he told the Newcastle Herald.

"I wouldn't have a clue. If you include pre-season games and T20s and whatever

else, I guess it would be pretty close to three figures. "I know how many games

I've played at the country champs, but I've never really kept track of all the others."

A prolific wicket-taker with his off-spinners, Foster has worked tirelessly on his

batting over the years to become a genuine all-rounder. And at 38, he is enjoying

the game as much as ever and has had no thoughts of pulling stumps on his

rep career.

"It's 20-odd years since I made my debut for Newcastle, and I've always regarded

it as an honour," he said. "I'm definitely keen to keep going. "I really enjoy playing for

Newcastle. I get a lot of pride out of representing the city, and since I've been captain, I

don't take that lightly.

"We've got a really good culture around our team and I'm really keen to see that

continue. I'm pretty passionate about seeing Newcastle do well. So I don't think I'll

be stepping down yet. If they want to get rid of me, that's

another story." Foster believes the desire to keep representing Newcastle

and NSW Country is what keeps him performing at a high level.

"I think I need that," he said. "That helps keep me motivated. I suspect if I

didn't have rep cricket, maybe I wouldn't work so hard."

Foster has steered Newcastle to victories in the past two country championships

and will be hoping to emerge from this season's edition, to be played on the Central

Coast, with a hat-trick of titles.

"I think three in a row has only ever been done twice before, by two Newcastle

teams," Foster said. "So it's a bit of a target for us."

Newcastle will play Central North on Friday, North Coast on Saturday and Central

Coast in Foster's milestone game, on Sunday

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