17-year-old Will Sutherland has a serious sporting conundrum
The 17-year-old has performed out of his skin for the Australian under-19s as a fast bowler and captain, taking home a series win against Sri Lanka last month.
Sutherland, who is the son of Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, took 2-48 and starred with 54 runs to see his side home in Hobart.
Standing at 195cm tall, Sutherland looks destined to be a ferocious fast bowler for the rest of his career, but there’s something else keeping his mind busy while still at school.
The 17-year-old is also a gun footballer, recently showing off his skills with the Sherrin in kicking five goals for his school side.
It’s become clear Sutherland is hot property for talent scouts in both sports.
Former AFL star and journalist Tim Watson said managers are falling over their feet in an effort to entice him to sign to the AFL.
“Player managers out there are all scrambling to get this kid to sign for them,” he said.
“He hasn’t played TAC Cup football but (the AFL) are trying to think of a way to get him in to the Victorian representative side too. He is that good.”
Former Australian cricketer Rodney Hogg said if he was the head of Cricket Australia (CA) he’d be offering Sutherland a huge contract to entice him to the sport.
“CA have been in this situation before where some guys have just gone for the money into footy,” Hogg said.
“It’s a difficult decision because he’s James Sutherland’s son. If I was running CA now, I’d be offering this kid 150 (thousand) a year. I’d be offering him big money to lure him away from footy.”
Hogg made it clear he wasn’t suggesting Sutherland’s father give his own son a lucrative deal.
It’s not a bad conundrum to have, but you can’t deny the stress of choosing a future would have on a teenager who is still in high school.