Jonty Durrheim has learnt to say no.
As a fourth and final year physiotherapy student at Newcastle University his Waratah-Mayfield teammates often hit him up about the obligatory free massage, but Durrheim has worked out a way to politely decline and hopefully drum up business down the line.
“They sure do [ask me]. All the time,” he said.
“But you’ve got to teach them a lesson. Maybe one day they can come into my practice.”
However, the 24-year-old all-rounder from Eleebana wasn’t going to say no when invited to join the Newcastle representative squad again this season.
“It’s been a goal of mine to have a regular spot in the Newcastle team so hopefully I can push my case for the Steel [T20 team], Durrheim said.
“If I’m performing well enough hopefully I can get a look in.”
Durrheim was called in for the last two matches of Newcastle’s previous campaign in the NSW Premier T20 Cup, including 3-13 opening the bowling on debut against St George at Hurstville Oval and then a quarter-final loss to Sydney Cricket Club in December.
He then kicked off 2017-2018 in excellent touch with five wickets and half-century in a representative trial match against Sydney side Western Suburbs at Ron Hill Oval last month.
Now the former Cardiff-Boolaroo captain and Toronto first grader will line up with the Newcastle Blasters as part of the new-look Regional Bash T20 tournament at Maitland next weekend.
It provides three games in which to post results and make the Newcastle Steel first XI to play in Sydney later this month.
“At the back end of last year I got to play two games of Steel cricket and particularly enjoyed it,” Durrheim said.
“It’s a different standard and a different level of cricket and it’s great to be among the best players in Newcastle.
“I’ve been in some good touch [trial game] so hopefully that can translate into the first couple of rounds of the season and doing the best job next weekend for the Blasters.
“Hopefully I can make some inroads myself, impress Burls [Newcastle representative coach Shane Burley], the other selectors and get a regular spot.”
Durrheim, nursing a minor quadriceps injury, is about to embark on his second summer with Waratah-Mayfield after scoring 422 runs and taking 25 wickets in 2016-2017. This was 11th and 21st in the district rankings respectively.
In Saturday’s season opening loss to Belmont he bowled alongside former first-class quick Burt Cockley.
Durrheim continues to coach juniors at his new club and privately.