My sporting life: Andrew Hammond
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED: I used to watch the test matches on TV in the summer from a young age but the first time I played was for Edenderry in the annual primary schools’ Kwik Cricket tournament held at Chambers Park. That summer (1996 I think) my brother and I decided to join Portadown and give the proper game a go - we made Dad get us a Gray-Nicolls ‘Dynadrive’ bat from the old Inter-Sport shop in town! We played for George Hamill’s under 13s and I think I also made a couple of appearances for the legendary Graham Cup-winning under 15s.
WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE: It’s hard to name just one since I have played at both Portadown and Laurelvale. George Hamill always gave me plenty of encouragement in my first stint at Portadown and he was the person who gave me the chance to play. When the youth set-up at Portadown stopped and I moved to Laurelvale, Dennis Guy was a great help. He has a wealth of knowledge and the total respect of all the young players.
When I started playing senior cricket at Laurelvale, Adrian Campbell and Wesley Best provided loads of great advice which I still use today as a player - experienced guys who really encouraged the younger lads. On my arrival back at Portadown in 2006, Glenn Harris was another experienced player who gave me plenty of useful tips.
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