CRICKET: Adam Thornton is set to test his wares on a bigger stage next season after claiming the Sunshine Coast division one player of the year gong alongside Glen Batticciotto.
The 32-year-old starred for Maroochydore during its run to second place, chalking up 809 runs at an average of 62.2 and claiming 15 wickets at 16.5.
"I know my game as best as I ever have. That was my third season opening the batting and the biggest thing was patience and respecting the new ball," he said.
Now, Thornton's eager to pad-up for the region's representative club, the Scorchers, on the state scene.
"I'd love to go and have a crack at grade cricket," he said. "They're a wonderful bunch of guys there."
Thornton played one game for the Scorchers second grade side last summer, scoring 77, when Maroochydore had a bye.
Sunshine Coast coach Ashley Holznagel has had talks with the batsman and would welcome his services.
"He's a passionate guy and he has a genuine desire to succeed so we'll back him 100%," he said.
Batticciotto, who scored 703 runs at 54.02, for premier Caboolture, believed Thornton could make an impact at higher levels.
"He's a great player. I reckon he'd go pretty well in the grade set-up," he said.
Batticciotto knows what its like to play at that level and beyond, having previously laced-up in the Queensland Premier Grade and for the Queensland Bulls.
The 35-year-told told the Daily he was on the verge of quitting the sport this time last year before he was lured to the Snakes.
"(President) Steve Adams coached me back in the day so I've had that connection with Caboolture for quite a long time and he'd been trying to get me over for the last four or five years," Batticciotto said.
"Whilst I was playing in the (Queensland) grade set-up I wasn't really interested and then I pretty much decided to hang my boots up last year when he contacted me to try and get me over one more time. He wooed me over, training one night a week instead of two and playing only on Saturdays.
"That was a big change in the time needed to put in. I was going back to enjoying the game for what it is."
Batticciotto said he was unsure whether he will play next season but was "privileged" to win the joint player of the year award.