By Tyler Lewis
For Cameron Forsyth, cricket is a release away from an extremely busy lifestyle.
But like all the Forsyth brothers who stand an imposing figure for any bowler, Cameron was more or less born into the cricketing regime than choosing one on his own.
“My dad and my three brothers, two of which play at Dandenong (Mitch and Brett) have always played cricket,” he told the Journal.
“I have loved the game from an early age. Growing up around Springvale South Cricket Club, we were all heavily involved down there from as long as I can remember – I think I was playing from around five or six.
“It has been one of those things I have grown up with and didn’t really get a choice on the matter to be honest.”
While he and his brothers have all paved their own destiny with bat in hand, Forsyth said a lot of the drive began compiling long innings in the backyard as kids.
“It was always pretty competitive (cricket in the backyard growing up),” he said.
“My older brother Ryan really never liked losing.
“He gave it to Brett and then Brett passed it onto me, and I have passed it on through to Mitch.
“Given we are all pretty short there was a lot of batsmen having long innings and not too many bowlers steaming in.”
As soon as he was able to grip a cricket bat, Forsyth was straight into the competitive juniors for his beloved Bloods against some kids twice his age, despite being an unhurried developer.
“I started at Springvale South, I think it was under-12s back then,” he said.
“Playing in a team with Brett when I was five or six years old – that is when it all started for me.
“I was a little bit of what people would say a late developer. I played in a few DDCA regional teams but never any state honours and I won a few premierships in junior cricket.
“Once I came to Premier Cricket, I rose through the ranks and played cricket in every grade which some I think would consider a late bloomer.”
While playing cricket for almost his entire life, Forysth has only ever pulled on two home clubs kits as loyalty comes second nature.
“I think I am a bit of a people person, so if I find an environment where I’m comfortable and get along well with people that is normally enough to keep me involved at the club,” he said.
“I think I have been pretty lucky. Springvale South have great people steering the club, Peter Mathison, Craig Slocombe, there is probably 10 or 15 you could name.
“The guys like that are really easy to think of whenever you think of leaving clubs and how much they have done for you, and how much you want to give back to them in the future.
“Similarly at Dandenong we have now got Tom (Donnell), Brett (Forsyth) and ‘Nano’ (James Nanopoulos) in that crew but historically going back guys like Paul Boraston and Warren Ayres, big names like that.
“I think I have just been lucky to be involved at great clubs with great people, so I have never wanted to leave.”
While committing to the rigours of premier cricket, Forsyth also has a very intense day-to-day job that can sometimes push cricket aside, which much to his appreciation, coach Nick Speak understands.
“I am a commercial disputes lawyer,” he said.
“It can be difficult. I have found since I started, cricket can be a release from work.
“I have a lot of friends in cricket, particularly at Dandenong so it is great to catch up with them socially as much as anything since I started work.
“I have found since starting work it has been a lot easier to enjoy, and cricket can be more of that release.
“Since I started in 2016 I have had Nick Speak as the coach for most if not all of the time.
“I have found it great with him in terms of being able to have open and honest conversations about my time commitments.
“He is very understanding when things ramp up at work when I am not able to make it to training on time or at all sometimes.
“It is disappointing for me on occasions but it means a lot knowing you have a coach who is supportive of you.
“I think it is a two-way street, he knows for me and other guys who are in that situation with work that as long as you are doing what you need to have prepared for the weekend then he is happy to make those allowances.”
Behind every man, is an even better woman and for Forsyth, he feels he is no exception with his understandable partner when it comes to work and sporting commitments.
“She (his partner) is great,” he said.
“Grace is a midwife at Dandenong hospital, so local to Shepley but she is very understanding and I think it helps with her line of work as well.
“It is often shift work, so we try and schedule when we are going to see each other competing around work and cricket commitments.
“She is pretty understanding, I think she gets that cricket is a release for me so it is one of those things that she lets me get away with more than I should,” Forsyth joked.
With an accomplished cricketing family, Forsyth often treasures humour in the comments while he is at the crease about his brother’s success, and finds a moment to think of the slack his youngest brother is receiving currently playing in the lower grades.
“My little brother Mitch cops it a bit,” he said.
“Mostly to do with Brett but a little to do with me playing first grade.
“I certainly copped it rising through the grades at Dandenong and now still in first grade on occasions.
“I normally have a bit of a laugh; the comments are quite funny – it is good to know the opposition knows who you are a lot of the time.”
Many cricketers competing in the current Victorian Premier Competition are etching to write their own names onto a state contract or into the history books with a premiership but for Forsyth he accomplished the ultimate team prize in his earlier years in the navy and red, but he still feels as there is more to be achieved by the end of his career.
“It is something you don’t think of much while you are still playing, but for me (it’s all about) the team success,” he said.
“That premiership we had a couple years ago, I missed out on the white ball one and the Twenty20 one last year.
“Playing in the red ball flag means the world to you at the time, looking back on it I would love to have more by the time I get through.
“But cricket for me is as much as everything, enjoying the people you meet, the friendships you can make along the way and the journey.
“(I’m) not too phased by personal accolades, how many centuries you have made, as great as those things are – the thing I will remember about cricket the most is the fun days I had and the friendships made.”