DEVON won’t be seeing all-rounder Matt Golding for a while after he confirmed his intention to remain in Australia instead of returning home.
Golding, 24 played 52 games in all competitions for Devon from his debut in 2012. His ability to bowl seamers and spin as well as bat in the top order made him a must-pick for every captain he played under.
Golding’s usefulness to the side was shown in his selection record. He played every three-day game for five seasons in a row and 17 successive matches in one-day cricket.
Golding said he would miss playing league cricket for Bovey Tracey and Devon, but the chance to live and work in Australia was one he could not pass up.
“I am going to miss it all and it is gutting to miss the new Unicorns T20 competition with white balls and coloured kits,” said Golding.
“I have made some very close friends, not just in the two teams but the Devon League, and the Minor Counties competition.
“I have messaged Keith Donohue at Devon and the Bovey boys yesterday to let them all know.”
Golding is waiting for his two-year visa to come through, then he starts the process of getting work.
“I have to apply for working rights, then I will find a job,” said Golding.
“Not to sure what yet, but over time I want to start a coaching clinic.”
Golding has been shuttling back and forth from Devon to Melbourne for the past five years, playing cricket all the time.
Having a season off to settle into his new situation suits Golding just fine.
“I keep getting asked to play winter cricket, but after five years solid I think my body needs a break from cricket,” said Golding.
“I have become an armchair AFL watcher, and play a bit of basketball to get me through the winter.”
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said he was sad to lose Golding but had to look forward rather than back.
“It has been like having three cricketers rolled into one and any side would miss a player of his ability,” said Donohue.
“He has made his decision and now we will be looking at other young players and giving them a chance.
“That’s how Goldy would have been selected when he started and that’s the way it always will be.
Golding was a key player in the Bovey Tracey team that won the Premier Division last season. He scored 711 runs at an average of nearly 60 and took 25 wickets at less than 20 runs each.
Peter Bradley, who led Bovey to the title, said Golding would be missed by club and county as a player and a person.
Said Bradley: “Matt was four players in one for us over the last few seasons.
“He was one of the best opening bowlers, the best leg-spinner, one of the best batsman and one of the best fielders in the league.
“Matt always played with a smile and brought the best out of others. Always offering advice - tactically or technical - and helped with coaching all ages, adult and youth.
“It's a real shame someone with his huge talent he was never given an opportunity at a professional level.
“We wish him the very best of luck and would welcome him back at any stage.”