Establishing himself as a stalwart of the Appleby Cricket Club was far from Clinton Goad's mind when he moved to Invercargill as an 18-year-old.
Goad had shifted from Nelson to study at the Southern Institute of Technology and was asked by Appleby member Glen Kellet if he was interested in joining the south city club.
He debuted for the club during the 2005-06 season in a Sunday 50-overs-a-side game against the Combined Country team which then played in the Southland senior competition.
Fast forward the clock nine seasons and Goad has become an important member of the Appleby club on and off the field.
He has played 128 games for the club and is ranked in the club's top 20 all-time run-scorers while his 85 catches sees ninth on the all-time list, four behind Simon Culhane.
He has scored two senior hundreds, both against the Metro Tigers at Queens Park.
He also captained the club's senior team for four seasons while off the field Goad has been just as important with the organisation of the club, including helping prepare the grass pitch.
Goad views those off-field duties as just as important as the on-field ones.
"That's one of the things about being in a club, you've got to pay your dues if you want to be part of it," Goad told The Southland Times yesterday.
The former Nelson College student said he had loved his involvement with Appleby and made some good friends during that time.
"The good part about joining a club is you soon find mates and like-minded individuals. It's not all the stuff on the field that counts, it's how you feel in a club as well, and Appleby makes everyone feel welcome."
He said the strength of the Appleby club was based on it having two strong sides, with a senior reserve team as well.
"We've always had two teams since I've been here and with some clubs having teams drop out it's nice to know that Appleby has got the stability of having two teams."
Goad's love of cricket started as a seven-year-old in Nelson, where he progressed through the age-group ranks before spending two seasons in the senior ranks with two seasons for e College-Old Boys.before heading south.
He admitted to being surprised at how competitive Southland club players were when he first arrived.
"It's close on the field and the attitude, people don't like to lose. You see quite a few rivalries."
Goad and his Appleby team's next assignment is against Marist on Saturday in round three of Southland's senior one-day competition.
In other games, Metro host Albion and Invercargill-Old Boys take on Waikoikoi. Southland Boys' High School have the bye.
- © Fairfax NZ News