TIM LUDEMAN TO USE GEELONG TO PUSH FOR HIGHER HONOURS
ALEX OATES, Geelong Advertiser
June 10, 2017 12:04am
DISCARDED South Australian wicketkeeper batsman Tim Ludeman insists he still has plenty to offer at first-class level as he prepares to revive his career at Geelong.
Ludeman, who has penned a two-year contract with the Cats in a major coup for the struggling Premier club, will move to Geelong next month in a bid to land a contract on the national scene.
The 29-year-old is understood to be close to inking a deal in the lucrative Big Bash League with either Melbourne Renegades or Melbourne Stars, having been dumped by the Adelaide Strikers.
Ludeman, a Warrnambool export, is also hopeful of bashing down the door at Victoria, with his contract expiring at South Australia.
“I’ve still got plenty to offer,” Ludeman told the Geelong Advertiser yesterday from his home in Beverley, South Australia.
“I’m only 29 and I like to think I’m at my peak. All going well I’ll get back closer to family, Geelong is a great place to live so the lifestyle will suit me down to the ground and hopefully that will see me play my best cricket.”
Dumped in late April by SACA, Ludeman said he had no hard feelings with coach Jamie Siddons.
“It was just one of those things ... it’s elite sport and that’s the way it goes,” Ludeman said.
“I’ve had a good time at SACA, good memories and made some good friends but they’ve decided to go in a different direction with youth. That’s their call.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Victoria ... I’m very excited, to be honest. I can’t wait.”
Ludeman, who arrives in Geelong on the back of a 518-run season in 10 games for Port Adelaide in SACA Premier Cricket as well as 171 runs in Futures League and Matador Cup matches, remains adamant he can contribute at Victoria, should he get an opportunity.
“Everyone says that your best years in batting are between 28 and 34 and I’m only 29 and I’m just hitting my peak,” he said.
“I had a good year with the bat last year. I made 170 against South Africa when they toured, so I feel like I’m in control of my batting now and I’m looking forward to making runs with the Cats.”
Ludeman will need to dislodge youngster Sam Harper, who is set to assume the role as No. 1 gloveman following the departure of Test keeper Matthew Wade to Tasmania.
“Sam Harper is highly regarded around the country,” Ludeman said.
“He’s doing good things, so hopefully he can push his claims for higher honours and play for Australia. That might open up a door for me, who knows?
“I’ll be trying to put my best foot forward. Hopefully some Big Bash stuff will pop up, but we’re just waiting for Cricket Australia and ACA to sort out the pay negotiations and then we can hopefully sort out something there.
“I might be doing some part-time coaching at Victoria as well, but we’re still working through that.”
Should Ludeman return to the first-class scene, he will miss a large chunk of the Premier cricket season.
“But it depends if I’m playing in the BBL,” Ludeman said.
“If I don’t get a contract then I’ll be playing with Geelong. It’s all up in air in that regard and I’ve just got to see how it all pans out.”
A dashing right-hander, Ludeman said he was eager to link up with his new Cats’ teammates.
“From what I understand there’s a great mix of experience and youth with Brenton McDonald and Liam Buchanan as well as some good young talent,” he said.
“Obviously the facilities down there at Kardinia Park are fantastic, you’ve got Andre Borovec as head coach and he’s first class when it comes to planning and preparedness, so I’m looking forward to that aspect and it also creates that link-up with Warrnambool area because there’s some good kids coming out of that region.”