Tohill learning his trade from ground up

Nineteen-year-old Jayden Tohill has landed his dream job.

The former Southland Boys' High School pupil headed to Cromwell last year to study for a National Certificate in Sports Turf Management at the Otago Polytechnic.

The dream was to complete the course and find himself a job involved with cricket, his main sporting interest.

His goal was fast tracked, with the Southland teenager landing a job with New Zealand Cricket at its headquarters in Lincoln before he had even completed the course.

Tohill was sent to Lincoln last year as part of a work experience placement and ended up applying for a sought after job which opened up with New Zealand Cricket.

Much to his delight he got it.

He is now in charge of the practice wicket block at Lincoln which is used by many first-class teams as well as various national sides.

The days are long and there is some pressure attached to preparing constantly good wicket blocks for the country's best cricketers but Tohill is more than happy with where he's at at the moment.

"I was pretty rapt to get a job within my first year of study. I couldn't really ask for much more," he said.

"I always wanted to try to stay involved with cricket. I've been playing it my whole life so I thought it would be a good way to stay involved with the sport."

Tohill has fast found out there is more to preparing a good pitch than he first thought.

"Most people think it's just rolling and mowing a pitch but there's quite a bit involved," he said.

"You've really got to pay attention to what you are doing because at the end of the day it's our national summer sport, you've got to know what you're doing."

Watching cricket on television has changed for Tohill because it's now just as much about analysing what the pitch looks like and is playing like as it is about the players.

"You don't really watch sport for enjoyment anymore, you can get pretty critical of what (the pitch) looks like," he said.

For Tohill, the quest is to one day have his own ground to look after, with one of New Zealand's premier cricket venues the ultimate goal.

The Southland Times