Raising the stakes
15 years ago Cabramatta’s Ray Pearse came onto the scene when he was dominating the New South Wales U’25 circuit, and after years of hard work and dedication to the sport, Pearse has finally earned a ticket to New Zealand with the Australian High Performance Team.
Gradually Pearse has been working his way up the ranks, winning state titles and eventually catching the attention of state selectors who picked Pearse to debut as lead for Aron Sherriff in the 2012 NSW v VIC test series played at Wodonga.
Pearse (affectionately known as Razor among his peers), is now considered to be a household name in the NSW side having played 56 games and consistent performances for his state have caught the eyes of national selectors.
His inclusion in the Australian ‘A’ squad in 2013 was indicative of his fast progression since making the NSW side and Australian selectors have granted him the opportunity to team up with one of the hottest names in bowls, Australian Jackaroo Matt Flapper in this week’s Burnside Pairs in Christchurch.
“When I first saw my name down to play at Burnside the butterflies hit my stomach straight away,” Mr Pearse said.
Pearse is not taking the opportunity lightly knowing a Trans-Tasman side will be announced soon after the completion of the Burnside Pairs and he is well aware that the conditions in New Zealand can be very challenging.
“I have been updated on the conditions for NZ and it sounds like it can be tricky; the greens are slick and the winds can be gusty, mentally I will need to be ready to perform well,” Mr Pearse said.
Pearse and Flapper have combined together in the past however Pearse says he wants to perform well for Flapper and not let him down.
“I have a lot of respect for Matt, he has come a long way getting selected for the Commonwealth Games and winning bronze; he is a fierce competitor and I can’t think of a better partner to be teamed up with,” Mr Pearse said.
The reality is the Burnside Pairs is an important event in terms of Australian selection; Australian National Coach Steve Glasson and Australian Selectors David Stockham and Beth Quinlan are present in Christchurch preparing to pick a side to take on New Zealand in the annual Trans-Tasman.
Pearse has strong aspirations to represent Australia but knows that whilst Australia is ranked number one in the world, it is extremely difficult to even crack the Australian Squad.
“I recently attended the NSW/ACT vs QLD NTC training camp at Broadbeach where I got a great insight into what it takes to represent Australia,” Mr Pearse said.
“My main goal is to make the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, however I know there is a lot of work to do to insure I get that opportunity.”
“With the Trans-Tasman, World Championships and Asia Pacific Games coming up in the next few years, why not set those targets and see what happens.”
Pearse says we can all talk a good game but at the end of the day, we need to let our bowls do the talking!
For more information follow the link to Burnside Bowling Clubs website or check out Bowls Australia’s Facebook page and website for results as they come in starting Friday 16