WHEN Nic Broes made the choice to relocate to Canberra to play in the ACT Premier Cricket competition for 2019-20, he knew it would be a challenge.
It seems Broes not only likes a challenge, but knows how to rise to one as well.
The Bathurst talent not only finished his club season as part of the premiership winning Western District outfit, but played a host of representative cricket too.
Broes competed at the Cricket Australian Under 19 National Championships for ACT-NSW, made his Australian Country Cricket Championships debut and formed part of ACT's Regional Bash outfit which made the decider at the SCG.
He also played at the National Premier T20 Championships with Western Districts in Adelaide earlier this month.
Broes and his team-mates made history as they became the first side from ACT Premier Cricket to win a match at that championships. They were victors in two fixtures and ended up placing fourth.
"My main goal at the start of the year was to make the 19s side for nationals and I did that. I managed to do well there," Broes said.
"The other stuff that came, the Regional Bash and the Country Champs and those opportunities - they were little bonuses which, looking back on it, make me pretty pleased with this season.
"Playing at SCG again was pretty special and even going away to Adelaide for the premier T20 comp was great.
"Just to see some of the cricketers there, you don't realise how strong Cricket Australia is until you see that. The amount of talent that was in every side was just incredible.
"It was nice to think that I'm not too far away from some of those guys and hopefully good things happen next year."
Broes ended up ranking 10th on the leading scorers' list at the Under 19 National Championships as he amassed 303 runs at an average of 43.3.
His highlight at the eight-day Country Championships came in his final game when hitting 44 off 59 deliveries against South Australia and backed up with the ball to snare 3-20 off nine overs.
In the Regional Bash Twenty20 tournament, Broes impressed for the ACT Aces outfit which finished as runner-up.
His efforts included top-scoring in the final at the SCG against Lake Mac Attack with 45 off 44.
The St Pat's Old Boys Cricket Club graduate was proud of those batting efforts, but he was just as pleased with his knocks for Western District.
He scored a total of 344 runs and averaged 43 for the season.
His best knock was an 84 against Weston Creek Molonglo, but Broes hit half centuries against both ANU and Tuggeranong too.
"The front half was the best, the front two-thirds. I think the back half was a little bit inconsistent. I think over the years inconsistency has been a big struggle in my game, but this season there were a lot more scores between 40 and 80," Broes said.
"I had a lot more better, consistent scores in large groupings than I've had in the past, so that was pleasing."
Like many cricket competitions around the country, ACT Premier Cricket was brought to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Broes' Western District and Weston Creek-Molonglo had both qualified for the Douglas Cup decider, but it did not go ahead on Saturday and Sunday.
READ MORE: Under 19s experience helped Broes' batting
It was called off in the wake of the virus. It was the first time since 1951-52 a final has not been held and just the sixth time in the history of ACT grade cricket it was cancelled.
Given Western District finished as minor premiers, they were declared victors.
While Broes said it was "really strange" to win a premiership that way, he still felt Western District were deserving of that mantle.
"We were looking forward to the grand final and the way we got there by wasn't bad by beating ANU in the semi," Broes said.
"I think we got it nine down and Scott Murn, against his old club, hit a six to win it for us.
"It was pretty special for us because they hadn't won a semi-final for a few years this club.
"So we were all looking forward to the grand final, but when you look at it, we all worked bloody hard to finish as minor premiers and we've probably been the best side in the comp.
"So it's probably fair that we got to win it. But it is a weird feeling."
Broes now won two premierships in as many seasons - Western District's success adding to his 2018-19 Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade title with the Saints.
He also got to share his latest success with another Bathurst cricket product. Former Rugby Union talent Blake Dean was Western's player-coach.
"I spent a lot of time with Blake this year and even did some coaching with him," Broes said.
"He's great with people and he's easy to get along with, with made it a hell of a lot easier. It made winning that bit more special, he's a pretty good friend and we are both blokes from Bathurst."
Broes plans to play in the ACT competition again next season and has set himself the goal of playing in the national second XI competition.
"Hopefully I can play Futures [League] and take my opportunities and see what happens from there," he said.
"It was nice to prove some people wrong and nice to know where I am at with my cricket at the moment."