Andrew Holder charges in to bowl for Subiaco Floreat // John Sherry
Andrew Holder has defied the odds this season. His transition from bat to ball is the one of the most remarkable stories of 2017 and with a bit of luck, he could be the unlikely hero in a Subiaco Floreat premiership in just over a week’s time.
In 12 months, Holder has gone from a hardened opening batsman to the competition’s leading wicket taker with 47 wickets at an average of just 18.
It is a move the Subi product didn’t see coming himself. With the bowling lineup struggling with injury, Holder was thrown the new ball. He now has it for life.
"I just basically did whatever the team needed to be honest, I’ve always been a team first kind of guy,” Holder says.
"With some injuries and luck I was given the new ball at the start of the year and it all just started going from there.”
Holder credits his newfound relaxed approach as a key component behind the sudden rise to form, with his past as a batsman unusually becoming a weapon to his fast bowling armory.
"I think it is just taking pressure of myself,” he explains.
"Coming from a batting background you’re obviously facing the new ball and you know what you’re up against.
"Being on the other side and having a batting mentality whilst bowling has helped me a lot.”
The quick’s ability with bat in hand became invaluable over the weekend; guiding Subiaco Floreat to a famous finals win over Fremantle to keep their season alive. His partnership with good mate Chris Hansberry was ultimately the match winner.
"When I came out to bat we were 7-70,” he remembers.
"We just wanted to stay positive, as Chris and I have always batted higher in the order previously.
"If we wanted to knock off the runs we have to be positive and not get dictated by the state of the game and just play.”
The three-wicket win ranks as one of Holder’s best; with the constant shift in momentum a challenge for players on both sides.
"Definitely one of the better wins we have been involved in,” he says.
"We came back and fought probably two or three times, after Freo were 1-100 and to bowl them out for 150.
"Then to be 7-70, to then come back and win putting 120 on for the ninth wicket was pretty special.”
Subiaco Floreat now turn their focus to a clash with the premiership favourites Claremont-Nedlands, with Holder believing anything is possible, particularly in a finals atmosphere.
"I think it will be a close match to be honest, we have a strong batting lineup and a good core of players,” he says.
"We have won against really good opposition all year and anything can happen in finals.
"I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play against the best. To make a grand final and win a premiership you have to beat the best.”
Holder will finish as this year’s most outstanding bowler, with the goal of consistent form and team success pushing the fast-bowler to be even better in 2018.
"I just want to enjoy the game with my mates,” he says.
"Our team has played together since we were colts and although we have experience our core ages are between 24 and 28.
"I am looking forward to building my own consistency, but also wanting to win premierships with Subiaco Floreat.”-Elliot Raiter